Author(s): Kloess S, Huenecke S, Piechulek D, Esser R, Koch J,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract NK group 2D (NKG2D)-expressing NK cells exhibit cytolytic activity against various tumors after recognition of the cellular ligand MHC class I chain-related gene A (MICA). However, release of soluble MICA (sMICA) compromises NKG2D-dependent NK-cell cytotoxicity leading to tumor escape from immunosurveillance. Although some molecular details of the NKG2D-MICA interaction have been elucidated, its impact for donor NK (dNK) cell-based therapy of solid tumors has not been studied. Within an ongoing phase I/II trial, we used allogeneic IL-2 activated dNK cells after haploidentical stem cell transplantation for immunotherapy of patients with high-risk stage IV neuroblastoma. NKG2D levels on activated dNK cells increased strongly when compared with freshly isolated dNK cells and correlated with enhanced NK-cell cytotoxicity. Most importantly, elevated sMICA levels in patients plasma correlated significantly with impaired dNK-cell-mediated cytotoxicity. This effect could be reversed by high-dose infusion of activated dNK cells, which display high levels of surface NKG2D. Our data suggest that the provided excess of NKG2D leads to clearance of sMICA and preserves cytotoxicity of dNK cells via non-occupied NKG2D. In conclusion, our results identify this tumor immune escape mechanism as a target to improve immunotherapy of neuroblastoma and presumably other tumors. Copyright © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
This article was published in Eur J Immunol
and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access