Blocking NK cell inhibitory self-recognition promotes antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity in a model of anti-lymphoma therapy.

Department of Medical Oncology and Division of Basic Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 06/2008; 180(9):6392-401. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.180.9.6392
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Human NK cells lyse Ab-coated target cells through the process of Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Improving ADCC responses is desirable because it is thought to be an important antitumor mechanism for some Abs. NK cell inhibitory receptors, such as killer cell Ig-like receptors, engage with MHC class I molecules on self-cells to block NK cell activation. Accordingly, we enhanced ADCC responses by blocking NK cell inhibitory receptors, thus perturbing induction of the self-recognition signal. In a cell line model of anti-lymphoma therapy, the combination of rituximab with an Ab that blocks inhibitory self-recognition yielded increased NK cell-mediated target cell lysis when compared with rituximab alone. To validate this proof-of-concept, we then used a more representative approach in which an individual's fresh primary NK cells encountered autologous, EBV-transformed B cells. In this system, rituximab and a combination of Abs that block NK cell inhibitory receptors yielded improved NK cell-mediated lysis over rituximab alone. The results show, for the first time, that disruption of inhibitory self-recognition can efficiently promote ADCC in a human model, applying an autologous system in which physiologic checkpoints are in place. This method provides an alternative approach to potentiate the therapeutic benefit of antitumor Abs that mediate ADCC.

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