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Cancer Res. 2006 Jan 1;66(1):517-26.

Natural killer cells produce T cell-recruiting chemokines in response to antibody-coated tumor cells.

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  • 1Integrated Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, The Arthur G. James Comprehensive Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.


In the current report, we have examined the ability of natural killer (NK) cells to produce T cell-recruiting chemokines following dual stimulation with interleukin (IL)-2 or IL-12 and human breast cancer cells coated with an antitumor antibody (trastuzumab). NK cells stimulated in this manner secreted an array of T cell-recruiting chemotactic factors, including IL-8, macrophage-derived chemokine, macrophage inflammatory protein 1alpha (MIP-1alpha), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, and regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), whereas stimulation of NK cells with either agent alone had minimal effect. Furthermore, these factors were functional for T-cell chemotaxis as culture supernatants derived from costimulated NK cells induced migration of both naïve and activated T cells in an in vitro chemotaxis assay. T-cell migration was significantly reduced when neutralizing antibodies to IL-8, MIP-1alpha, or RANTES were added to culture supernatants before their use in the chemotaxis assay. In addition, coadministration of trastuzumab-coated tumor cells and IL-12 to mice led to enhanced serum MIP-1alpha. As a clinical correlate, we examined the chemokine content of serum samples from breast cancer patients enrolled on a phase I trial of trastuzumab and IL-12, and found elevated levels of IL-8, RANTES, IFN-gamma inducible protein 10, monokine induced by IFN-gamma, and MIP-1alpha, specifically in those patients that experienced a clinical benefit. Sera from these patients exhibited the ability to direct T-cell migration in a chemotaxis assay, and neutralization of chemokines abrogated this effect. These data are the first to show chemokine production by NK cells, specifically in response to stimulation with antibody-coated tumor cells, and suggest a potential role for NK cell-derived chemokines in patients receiving therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

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