Phenotype and function of activated natural killer cells from patients with prostate cancer: patient-dependent responses to priming and IL-2 activation

Hood, S.P., Foulds, G.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-2053-7580, Imrie, H. ORCID: 0000-0001-5214-3706, Reeder, S., McArdle, S.E.B. ORCID: 0000-0001-6929-9782, Khan, M. and Pockley, A.G. ORCID: 0000-0001-9593-6431, 2019. Phenotype and function of activated natural killer cells from patients with prostate cancer: patient-dependent responses to priming and IL-2 activation. Frontiers in Immunology, 9: 3169. ISSN 1664-3224

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Background: Although immunotherapy has emerged as the "next generation" of cancer treatments, it has not yet been shown to be successful in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer, for whom therapeutic options remain limited to radiotherapy and androgen (hormone) deprivation therapy. Previous studies have shown that priming natural killer (NK) cells isolated from healthy individuals via co-incubation with CTV-1 cells derived from an acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) enhances their cytotoxicity against human DU145 (metastatic) prostate cancer cells, but it remains unknown to what extent NK cells from patients with prostate cancer can be triggered to kill. Herein, we explore the phenotype of peripheral blood NK cells in patients with prostate cancer and compare the capacity of CTV-1 cell-mediated priming and IL-2 stimulation to trigger NK cell-mediated killing of the human PC3 (metastatic) prostate cancer cell line.

Methods: The phenotype of resting, primed (co-incubation with CTV-1 cells for 17 h) and IL-2 activated (100 IU/ml IL-2 for 17 h) NK cells isolated from frozen-thawed peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) preparations from patients with benign disease (n = 6) and prostate cancer (n = 18) and their cytotoxicity against PC3 and K562 cells was determined by flow cytometry. Relationship(s) between NK cell phenotypic features and cytotoxic potential were interrogated using Spearman Rank correlation matrices.

Results and Conclusions: NK cell priming and IL-2 activation of patient-derived NK cells resulted in similar levels of cytotoxicity, but distinct NK cell phenotypes. Importantly, the capacity of priming and IL-2 stimulation to trigger cytotoxicity was patient-dependent and mutually exclusive, in that NK cells from ~50% of patients preferentially responded to priming whereas NK cells from the remaining patients preferentially responded to cytokine stimulation. In addition to providing more insight into the biology of primed and cytokine-stimulated NK cells, this study supports the use of autologous NK cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of prostate cancer. However, our findings also indicate that patients will need to be stratified according to their potential responsiveness to individual therapeutic approaches.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Immunology
Creators: Hood, S.P., Foulds, G.A., Imrie, H., Reeder, S., McArdle, S.E.B., Khan, M. and Pockley, A.G.
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Date: 25 January 2019
Volume: 9
ISSN: 1664-3224
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 25 Jan 2019 14:27
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2019 14:27

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