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Transl Oncol. 2012 Apr;5(2):85-91. Epub 2012 Apr 1.

Expression of Leukocyte Inhibitory Immunoglobulin-like Transcript 3 Receptors by Ovarian Tumors in Laying Hen Model of Spontaneous Ovarian Cancer.

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Department of Pharmacology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.


Attempts to enhance a patient's immune response and ameliorate the poor prognosis of ovarian cancer (OVCA) have largely been unsuccessful owing to the suppressive tumor microenvironment. Leukocyte immunoglobulin-like transcript 3 (ILT3) inhibitory receptors have been implicated in immunosuppression in several malignancies. The expression and role of ILT3 in the progression of ovarian tumors are unknown. This study examined the expression and association of ILT3 in ovarian tumors in laying hens, a spontaneous preclinical model of human OVCA. White Leghorn laying hens were selected by transvaginal ultrasound scanning. Serum and normal ovaries or ovarian tumors were collected. The presence of tumors and the expression of ILT3 were examined by routine histology, immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. In addition to stromal immune cell-like cells, the epithelium of the ovarian tumors also expressed ILT3 with significantly high intensity than normal ovaries. Among different subtypes of ovarian carcinomas, serous OVCA showed the highest ILT3 staining intensity, whereas endometrioid OVCA had the lowest intensity. Similar to humans, an immunoreactive protein band of approximately 55 kDa for ILT3 was detected in the ovarian tumors in hens. The patterns of ILT3 protein and messenger RNA expression by ovarian tumors in different subtypes and stages were similar to those of immunohistochemical staining. The results of this study suggest that laying hens may be useful to generate information on ILT3-associated immunosuppression in OVCA. This animal model also offers the opportunity to develop and test anti-ILT3 immunotherapy to enhance antitumor immunity against OVCA in humans.


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