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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Hematology - Immunology - Oncology

iNKT Cells Suppress the CD8+ T Cell Response to a Murine Burkitt’s-Like B Cell Lymphoma
Published: Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Author: Ryan L. Bjordahl et al.

by Ryan L. Bjordahl, Laurent Gapin, Philippa Marrack, Yosef Refaeli

The T cell response to B cell lymphomas differs from the majority of solid tumors in that the malignant cells themselves are derived from B lymphocytes, key players in immune response. B cell lymphomas are therefore well situated to manipulate their surrounding microenvironment to enhance tumor growth and minimize anti-tumor T cell responses. We analyzed the effect of T cells on the growth of a transplantable B cell lymphoma and found that iNKT cells suppressed the anti-tumor CD8+ T cell response. Lymphoma cells transplanted into syngeneic wild type (WT) mice or Jalpha18-/- mice that specifically lack iNKT cells grew initially at the same rate, but only the mice lacking iNKT cells were able to reject the lymphoma. This effect was due to the enhanced activity of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells in the absence of iNKT cells, and could be partially reversed by reconstitution of iNKT cells in Jalpha 18-/- mice. Treatment of tumor-bearing WT mice with alpha -galactosyl ceramide, an activating ligand for iNKT cells, reduced the number of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells. In contrast, lymphoma growth in CD1d1-/- mice that lack both iNKT and type II NKT cells was similar to that in WT mice, suggesting that type II NKT cells are required for full activation of the anti-tumor immune response. This study reveals a tumor-promoting role for iNKT cells and suggests their capacity to inhibit the CD8+ T cell response to B cell lymphoma by opposing the effects of type II NKT cells.
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