Preserved IFN-α production of circulating Vα24 NKT cells in primary lung cancer patients

Authors

  • Shinichiro Motohashi,

    1. CREST (Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology) Project, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
    2. Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
    3. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
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  • Seiichiro Kobayashi,

    1. Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
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  • Toshihiro Ito,

    1. Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
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  • Kumiko K. Magara,

    1. Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
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  • Osamu Mikuni,

    1. Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
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  • Noriaki Kamada,

    1. Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
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  • Toshihiko Iizasa,

    1. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
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  • Toshinori Nakayama,

    1. CREST (Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology) Project, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
    2. Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
    3. Department of Medical Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
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  • Takehiko Fujisawa,

    1. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
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  • Masaru Taniguchi

    Corresponding author
    1. CREST (Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology) Project, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
    2. Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
    3. Laboratory for Immune Regulation, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology, Yokohama, Japan
    • Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan
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    • Fax: +81-43-227-1498


Abstract

Human Vα24 NKT cells bearing an invariant Vα24JαQ antigen receptor, the counterpart of murine Vα14 NKT cells, are activated by a specific ligand, α-GalCer, in a CD1d-dependent manner. Here, we demonstrate decreased numbers of circulating Vα24 NKT cells in patients with primary lung cancer compared to healthy volunteers. However, Vα24 NKT cells and DCs from lung cancer patients were functionally normal, even in the presence of tumor. Furthermore, levels of Vα24 NKT cells in surgically resected lung tissue appeared to be equivalent to those of Vα14 NKT cells in the mouse lung. Levels of Vα24 NKT cells in the tumor tissue itself were increased about 2.5 times. Administration of α-GalCer-pulsed DCs expanded Vα14 NKT cells in the lung more than 10 times, and the increased levels were sustained for 1 week. This may explain the previous finding that α-GalCer-pulsed DCs exerted strong antitumor activity in mouse lung tumor metastatic models. The potential use of α-GalCer-pulsed DCs for immunotherapy aimed at activating endogenous Vα24 NKT cells in the lung of cancer patients is discussed. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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