Purpose: Some studies suggest that the immunoreceptor NKG2D expression on CD8+ T cells is down-regulated and this reduction may be involved in immune evasion in cancer patients. The present study was designed to investigate NKG2D expression on CD8+ T lymphocytes and its relationship to immune evasion in gastric cancer patients. Experimental Design: NKG2D expression on both circulating and tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells was evaluated by multicolor flow cytometry. Soluble MHC class I chain-related gene A (MICA) in the sera was quantitated by ELISA. Transwell experiments were carried out to determine the effect of cancer cells on NKG2D expression. Results: NKG2D expression on circulating CD8+ T cells was down-regulated and significantly correlated with IFN-γ production in gastric cancer patients (r = 0.68; P = 0.007). NKG2D expression was closely related to undifferentiated cancer (P = 0.021) as was the depth of invasion (P = 0.012). There was no difference in soluble MICA between gastric cancer patients and normal controls. NKG2D expression on CD8+ T cells was remarkably reduced in the tissue of gastric cancer compared with peripheral blood (P = 0.046). Complete removal of tumor by surgery restored NKG2D expression on CD8+ T cells (P = 0.0049). Transwell experiments showed that this down-regulation was induced by direct contact between cancer cells and CD8+ T cells and that soluble factors did not affect the NKG2D expression. This phenomenon was blocked by the addition of anti-MICA antibodies. Conclusions: Decreased NKG2D expression may be one of the key mechanisms responsible for immune evasion by tumors in gastric cancer.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Clinical Cancer Research|
|Issue number||2 I|
|Publication status||Published - 2007 Jan 15|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research