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Scand J Immunol. 2011 Sep;74(3):244-252. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2011.02576.x.

Ex vivo expansion of CD56+ NK and NKT-like lymphocytes from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with ovarian neoplasia.

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1
Hospital da Mulher Professor Doutor José Aristodemo Pinotti - Centro de Atenção Integral à Saúde da Mulher, Campinas University (UNICAMP), Campinas, BrazilDepartamento de Anatomia Patológica, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Campinas University (UNICAMP), Campinas, BrazilDepartamento de Tocoginecologia, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Campinas University (UNICAMP), Campinas, BrazilDepartamento de Clínica Médica, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Campinas University (UNICAMP), Campinas, Brazil.

Abstract

Methods for ex vivo expansion of natural killer (NK) cells have allowed obtaining enough numbers of human NK cells for clinical trials. However, the evaluation of these methods has been mostly limited to haematological malignancies. This study aimed at evaluating a method for selective expansion of NK cells when applied in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of patients with ovarian neoplasia. PBMC from 13 volunteer patients with ovarian neoplasia, seven benign and six malignant tumours, were cultured in CellGro medium supplemented with anti-CD3 (9-10 initial days), IL-2 and foetal bovine serum for 21 days. The resulting effector cells were evaluated for their phenotype, cytotoxicity and cytokine secretion. PBMC cultures resulted in multiple populations (NK, NKT and T) of effector cells, enriched with CD56(+) lymphocytes. NK cells from patients with benign and malignant ovarian neoplasia were expanded 139.6 ± 63.4 and 82.7 ± 25.3-fold, respectively, being the largest lymphocyte subtype among CD56(+) population. Effector cells expanded from patients with malignant ovarian neoplasia had higher proportion of T lymphocytes and altered cytokine production patterns, characterized by lower INF-γ, TNF-α and higher IL-4, compared with patients with benign ovarian neoplasia. Effector cells were cytotoxic against K562 and OVCAR3 cell lines. Cytotoxicity was significantly higher (P < 0.05) using magnetically separated CD56(+) effector cell fractions compared with CD56-deprived ones. The present study demonstrates the feasibility of the culture system employed to generate effector cells, enriched with CD56(+) lymphocytes, from PBMC of patients with ovarian neoplasia. NK cells were the largest lymphocyte subtype among the CD56(+) population and the main variable among the final effector cell preparation affecting target cell killing.

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