CD56dim/CD56bright NK cell subpopulations and CD16/CD57 expression correlated with tumor development stages

Cornel Ursaciuc, Mihaela Surcel, Radu Huică, Dan Ciotaru, Maria Dobre, Ioana Ruxandra Pîrvu, Ciprian Cirimbei, Dan Mischianu, Ovidiu Bratu, Gheorghiţa Isvoranu, Eugen Brătucu

Abstract


BACKGROUND: NK cells are characterized by cytotoxic activity against tumor cells and CD3-CD16+CD56+ phenotype. Two distinct subpopulations of NK cells were characterized in the peripheral blood: NK-CD56dim representing over 95% of NK cells and involved in antitumor cytotoxicity, and NK-CD56bright representing approximately 10% of NK cells and involved in secretion of cytokines.

AIM: The aim of the study was to compare the presence of NK-CD56dim/NK-CD56bright subpopulations and their CD16/CD57 expression in peripheral blood NK cells during the particular development stages of malignancy: primary tumor (PT), lymph node invasion (LNI) and distant sites metastases (Mt).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We have analyzed by flow-cytometry peripheral blood samples from total 36 cancer patients: 24 patients with PT, 6 patients with LNI and 6 patients with Mt.

RESULTS: The presence of the overall NK cells showed no significant variation between patients in different stages of tumor development. The phenotype analysis showed that CD16+ and/or CD57+ cells were lower in LNI patients compared to PT or Mt patients. Double-positive CD16+CD57+ cells were found decreased in patients with Mt, compared to patients with PT. During the stages of tumor development, NK-CD56bright subpopulation increased progressively (7% in PT patients, 13% in LNI patients, 65% in Mt patients), whereas NK-CD56dim subpopulation gradually decreased (92%, 86%, and 35% respectively). CD16/CD57 expression decreased in NK-CD56dim and increased in NK-CD56bright cells over the three studied stages.

CONCLUSION: Our results show changes in NK cells characteristics during tumor development: reversal of NK-CD56dim/NK-CD56brightdistribution and modification of CD16/CD57 expression. Both types of changes can concur in reducing the efficiency of NK cell activity in patients with progressive tumors.

 


Keywords


NK cells; NK-CD56dim; NK-CD56bright; CD16, CD57; tumor development

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3889/seejim.2016.20009

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Copyright (c) 2016 Cornel Ursaciuc, Mihaela Surcel, Radu Huică, Dan Ciotaru, Maria Dobre, Ioana Ruxandra Pîrvu, Ciprian Cirimbei, Dan Mischianu, Ovidiu Bratu, Gheorghiţa Isvoranu, Eugen Brătucu

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