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Title: Effect of cytokines on NK cell activity and activating receptor expression in high-risk cutaneous melanoma patients
Authors: Mirjacic Martinović K.
Milićević M.
Larsen A.
Dzodic, Radan
Jurisic, Vladimir
Konjević G.
Vuletić A.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: © 2019, JLE/Springer. Objective: Stage II melanoma patients have high risk for regional and distant metastases and may benefit from novel therapeutic strategies. To clarify the role of NK cells in Stage II melanoma, we characterized the cytotoxic activity of NK cells and the expression of various activating and inhibitory receptors in high-risk cutaneous melanoma patients (Stages IIB and IIC) compared to low-risk patients (Stage IA). Materials and Methods: Native and cytokine-treated peripheral blood mononuclear cells were used for functional and phenotypical analyses. Results: Compared to Stage IA-B patients, Stage IIB-C patients showed significantly decreased NK cell activity, as well as decreased expression of the activating NKG2D and CD161 receptors, most likely due to increased serum levels of the immunosuppressive cytokine TGF-β1 in these patients. Interestingly, treatment of periperal blood mononuclear cells with IFN-α, IL-2, IL-12 or the combination of IL-12 and IL-18 significantly induced NK cell activity for both groups of melanoma patients. However, only low-risk patients had a significant increase in the expression of the NKG2D receptor after in vitro treatment with IFN-α, as well as an significant increase in the expression of CD161 after treatment with IFN-α or IL-12. Although IL-2 induced the expression of NKG2D in both groups of patients, this increase was significantly lower in high-risk melanoma. Conclusion: NK cell parameters may be useful as biomarkers of disease progression in localized melanoma patients. Our results further suggest that the use of NK cell-activating cytokines in combination with inhibitors of immunosuppressive factors like TGF-β1 could be a therapeutic option for the treatment of high-risk cutaneous melanoma patients.
Type: article
DOI: 10.1684/ecn.2019.0440
ISSN: 1148-5493
SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-85081001741
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kragujevac

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