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Article Figures & Data

Figures

  • Figure 1

    NK cell cytotoxicity is suppressed in tumor-bearing mice. Seven-week-old BALB/c mice were injected subcutaneously with TS/A tumor cells (3 × 105) or PBS as a control. Four weeks after tumor challenge, the mice were anesthetized and injected intravenously with YAC-1–Luc cells (1 × 106). After injection of D-luciferin the mice were imaged at hours 0, 2, 4, and 6 (A), and the total photon count per minute (photons per minute) calculated (5 animals) using Living Image software. The efficiency of NK cell killing of injected YAC-1–Luc cells was determined by measuring the numbers of photons collected at the imaging time points divided by at 0 hours collected (B). *P < .05; **P < .001. On completion of the imaging studies, NK cells (DX5+) were isolated from the spleen, and then stimulated with recombinant IL-2 (100 U/mL) for 5 days. After the incubation period, the NK cells were added to YAC-1–Luc or TS/A-Luc cells at varying effector-target (E/T) ratios (10:1, 20:1, and 40:1) as indicated in panels C and D. The cytotoxicity of NK cells to YAC-1–Luc (C) or TS/A-Luc (D) was determined using an NK cell cytotoxic assay as described in “Cytotoxicity assay.” The data represent the mean ± SEM from 5 mice from each group.

  • Figure 2

    Spleen MSCs suppress NK cell cytotoxicity in vivo. Tumor-bearing mice at 4 weeks after tumor injection were killed and spleen cells were isolated. (A) The percentages of DX5, F4/80, CD11b, and Gr-1+ cells were determined by FACS analysis as described in “Flow cytometry analysis.” The data represent the mean ± SEM from 5 mice from each group. (B) CD11b+Gr-1+ cells were isolated from the spleens of 9-week-old TS/A tumor-bearing BALB/c mice or naive mice. Increased numbers (1 × 106, 3 × 106, and 6 × 106) of sorted CD11b+Gr-1+ MSCs were transferred intravenously into 2-month-old BALB/c female mice (n = 5 per group). Twenty-four hours after adoptive transfer, the efficiency of NK cell killing of injected YAC-1–Luc cells was determined by measuring the numbers of photons collected at 6 hours divided by the photons collected at 0 hours. *P < .05; **P < .001. (C) Female BALB/c mice (n = 4): TS/A tumor-bearing mice with tumor debulked surgically (surgery removal), tumor-intact mice (nonremoval), and non–tumor-bearing PBS control mice (naive mice). Two weeks later, an in vivo measurement of NK cell cytotoxicity was determined by injection of YAC-1–Luc using an identical protocol, as described in Figure 1. The efficiency of NK cell killing of injected YAC-1–Luc cells was determined by measuring the numbers of photons collected at 2 hours and 4 hours divided by the photons collected at 0 hours. *P < .05; **P < .001. The data represent the mean ± SEM of 2 independent experiments (n = 4) (C, right panel). (D) After imaged mice were killed, the percentages of leukocytes in the lung were determined in the gated R1 region of a FACS analysis (top left). The presence of CD11b+Gr-1+, DX5+, CD8+, and CD11c+ cells was determined (left, representative plots). Results obtained from 2 independent experiments with replica 4 mice in each experiment were pooled and are presented as the mean ± SEM. *P < .05; **P < .01.

  • Figure 3

    Spleen MSCs suppress NK cell cytotoxicity in a cell-cell contact–dependent manner. Splenic MSCs (CD11b+Gr-1+) from naive or tumor-bearing BALB/c mice were FACS sorted and cocultured with DX5+ NK cells at the ratios between 1:0 to 1:2 (NK/MSC) in a 24-well plate (A) or in a Transwell system (B). After 1 day (C) or 5 days (A-B) of NK-MSC coincubation, NK cell cytotoxicity against YAC-1–Luc cells (YAC-1–Luc/NK, 1:20) was assayed as described in “Cytotoxicity assay.” The data represent NK cell killing YAC-1–LUC activity at 4 hours after addition of YAC-1–Luc cells. Data are mean (± SEM) of triplicate wells of 3 independent experiments. *P < .05; **P < .001.

  • Figure 4

    MSCs preferentially inhibit the production of perforin from NK cells. Spleen DX5+ NK cells were cocultured with spleen MSCs for 5 days at the ratio of 1:1 (A) or at varying ratios as indicated in panel B. DX5+ NK cells were then isolated with DX5 antibody-coated magnetic beads using the method as described previously. NK cells (1 × 106) were lysed in protein lysis buffer, and 50 μg total protein from each lysate was resolved on a 10% SDS PAGE gel. The proteins were then transferred to a nitrocellulose membrane, and the blots were probed with the indicated antibodies. The data are representative of 3 independent experiments. β-actin served as an internal control to confirm equivalent protein loading.

  • Figure 5

    Coculture of NK-MSCs results in the inhibition of phosphorylation of NK cell Stat5. Protein lysates were produced identically to those in Figure 4. Protein lysates from NK-MSCs cocultured at 1:1 and varying ratios (B) were run in the Western blot. The data are representative of 3 independent experiments. β-Actin was used as an internal control to confirm equivalent protein loading.