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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1991 Jun;59(3):407-16.

Suppression of lymphokine-activated killer cell generation by tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes.

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Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06030.


A functional analysis of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) from renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and malignant melanoma was performed. TILs were expanded in recombinant interleukin-2 (50 U/ml) in Iscoves medium. Phenotypic and functional (cytolytic vs regulatory) analyses were carried out with the fresh and expanded TIL populations after 4 weeks in culture. Only one TIL population from an RCC case (out of six cases studied) was CD8+ and demonstrated MHC class I-restricted tumor-specific cytotoxicity against the autologous RCC target. TIL populations from the other five cases became predominantly CD4+ and they neither killed the respective autologous tumor cells nor killed the NK-sensitive target K-562 cells. When studied for other functions, two CD4+ TIL populations were found to suppress the lymphokine-activated killer cell response by peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) in coculture. Of these two, a TIL population from an RCC case (MJ TIL) was used to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of suppression. The MJ TIL synthesized a supernatant factor that blocked activation of resting PBL as measured by the induction of high-affinity IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) when stimulated by phytohemagglutinin but did not down-regulate the fully expressed IL-2R on activated T cells. The suppression of high-affinity IL-2R induction on T cells did not result from tumor necrosis factor-alpha and beta or from transforming growth factor-beta as these cytokines were not detected in the cell-free supernatant from the MJ TIL culture. The supernatant factor also suppressed IL-2-mediated enhancement of cytotoxicity by natural killer (NK) cells without demonstrating direct toxic effect on the NK cells. Thus, when TIL are used for adoptive immunocytotherapy, it may be useful to fully characterize them functionally, in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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