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Gynecol Oncol. 2019 Jan 6. pii: S0090-8258(18)31537-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2018.12.023. [Epub ahead of print]

MUC16 suppresses human and murine innate immune responses.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
2
Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
3
Departments of Pediatrics and Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
4
Provenance Biopharmaceuticals, Carlisle, MA, USA.
5
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53792, USA. Electronic address: jconnor@uwhealth.org.
6
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA. Electronic address: patankar@wisc.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

MUC16, the mucin that contains the CA125 epitopes, suppresses the cytolytic responses of human NK cells and inhibits the efficacy of therapeutic antibodies. Here, we provide further evidence of the regulatory role of MUC16 on human and murine NK cells and macrophages.

METHODS:

Target cell cytolysis and doublet formation assays were performed to assess effects of MUC16 on human NK cells. The effect of MUC16 on ovarian tumor growth was determined in a mouse model by monitoring survival and ascites formation. Innate immune cells from spleens and peritoneal cavities of mice were isolated and stimulated in vitro with anti-CD40 antibody, lipopolysaccharide and IFN-γ and their ability to cytolyse MUC16 expressing and non-expressing cells was determined.

RESULTS:

We confirm that MUC16 inhibits cytolysis by human NK cells as well as the formation of NK-tumor conjugates. Mice implanted with MUC16-knockdown OVCAR-3 show >2-fold increase in survival compared to controls. Murine NK cells and macrophages are more efficient at lysing MUC16-knockdown cells. In vitro cytotoxicity assays with NK cells and macrophages isolated from mice stimulated with anti-CD40 antibody showed 2-3-fold increased activity against the MUC16-knockdown cells as compared to matching target cells expressing this mucin. Finally, knockdown of MUC16 increased the susceptibility of cancer cells to ADCC by murine splenocytes.

CONCLUSIONS:

For the first time, we demonstrate the immunoregulatory effects of MUC16 on murine NK cells and macrophages. Our study implies that the immunoregulatory role of MUC16 on murine NK cells and macrophages should be considered when examining the biology of MUC16 in mouse models.

KEYWORDS:

Antibody-mediated cytotoxicity; CA125; Immune evasion; Immunesuppression; MUC16; NK cells; Ovarian cancer

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