Modulation of HLA class I expression in multidrug-resistant human rhabdomyosarcoma cells
Università degli Studi di Sassari, Sassari, Sardinia, Italy Neoplasma
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An abnormal HLA expression has been detected in some tumors including rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). Classical cytotoxic treatment of these tumors, the most common childhood soft tissue malignancy, may induce multidrug resistance (MDR) associated with the expression of a 170-kDa membrane-associated glycoprotein (P-glycoprotein). In order to analyse the connection between modulation of HLA expression and the development of the MDR phenotype mediated by P-glycoprotein in RMS, we used three resistant RMS cell lines; two of these resistant cell lines (TE.32.7.DAC and RD-DAC) were established by in vitro exposure to actinomycin D, a drug of choice in the treatment of RMS; the resistant RMS- GR cell line was established from an embryonal RMS tumor after polychemotherapy. Our results showed that all the resistant cell lines showed a significant increase in the expression of HLA class I surface antigens in comparison to drug-sensitive cells. Blockade of P-glycoprotein with verapamil led to a decrease in HLA class I expression in RMS resistant cell lines. However, no modulation of HLA class II expression was observed in any of the three analyzed cell lines. These findings support the hypothesis that the development of resistance mediated by mdr 1/P-glycoprotein, directly influences the expression of HLA class I in RMS cells, inducing to upregulation. This effect may be relevant to the application in RMS of immunotherapy against tumor-associated antigens presented by HLA class I molecules.
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ABSTRACT: Effectiveness of conventional cytotoxic treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) may be limited by the development of multidrug resistance (MDR) mediated by mdr1 gene. This gene codes for P-glycoprotein (P-gp) which has been related to a immunoregulatory function. Modulation of HLA expression by P-gp has been described in different types of tumor cells including RMS. However, very little is known about biological implications of the P-gp expression in RMS patients treated with conventional chemotherapy. In order to study the problem, we used embryonal RMS tissue samples from treated patients. Our results indicated that positive RMS samples to mdr1 show higher HLA class I expression than those which were negative to mdr1 PCR, what indicates a significant correlation between the expression of both molecules. In addition, we developed two resistant RMS cell lines (A-204-1 and 2) using similar concentrations of actinomycin D as are plasma levels in clinical situation. Both resistant cell lines showed mdr1 expression and an increase of HLA class I expression which was dose-dependent. These results demonstrated that conventional chemotherapy of embryonal RMS is able to induce resistance which can modulate HLA class I expression and suggest that immunological studies of these tumors may be necessary to the design new specific therapeutic strategies.
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