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Cell Immunol. 1995 Oct 15;165(2):217-24.

B7-1 enhances natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity and inhibits tumor growth of a poorly immunogenic murine carcinoma.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York 14642, USA.


The B7-1 molecule expressed on antigen presenting cells is an important costimulatory molecule for T cell activation. It has been demonstrated that murine B7-1 can enhance host immunity and lead to tumor rejection via its costimulatory function. Here, we investigate how transfection of B7-1 into line 1, a poorly immunogenic murine lung carcinoma, affects the generation and function of different immune effector cells. Line 1 cells expressing B7-1 form tumors that grow at a slower rate than the parental line 1. Our studies have shown that tumor infiltrating lymphocytes present within the B7-1 expressing tumors are primarily composed of nonspecific killer cells with no specific cytotoxic T cells present. To determine if increased nonspecific killer cells could inhibit the tumor growth of line 1 in the presence of B7-1, we examined the cytotoxicity of natural killer (NK) cells and lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells on the B7-1-transfected line 1 and the parental line 1. We found that B7-1 augments the NK- but not LAK-mediated killing against line 1 as measured in an in vitro 51Cr-release cytotoxicity assay. This enhancement could be blocked by CTLA-4 Ig. In vivo depletion of NK cells led to growth of the B7-1-transfected line 1 at the same rate as the parental line 1. These results suggest that in addition to its costimulatory role for T cell activation B7-1 could be an accessory molecule that intensifies NK-mediated cytotoxicity. This novel finding may provide a mechanism for the effect of B7-1 on tumors of low immunogenicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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