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Open Access Publications from the University of California

MICA-expressing monocytes enhance natural killer cell Fc receptor-mediated antitumor functions

  • Author(s): Campbell, AR
  • Duggan, MC
  • Suarez-Kelly, LP
  • Bhave, N
  • Opheim, KS
  • McMichael, EL
  • Trikha, P
  • Parihar, R
  • Luedke, E
  • Lewis, A
  • Yung, B
  • Lee, R
  • Raulet, D
  • Tridandapani, S
  • Groh, V
  • Yu, L
  • Yildiz, V
  • Byrd, JC
  • Caligiuri, MA
  • Carson, WE
  • et al.

©2017 AACR. Natural killer (NK) cells are large granular lymphocytes that promote the antitumor response via communication with other cell types in the tumor microenvironment. Previously, we have shown that NK cells secrete a profile of immune stimulatory factors (e.g., IFNg, MIP-1a, and TNFa) in response to dual stimulation with the combination of antibody (Ab)-coated tumor cells and cytokines, such as IL12. We now demonstrate that this response is enhanced in the presence of autologous monocytes. Monocyte enhancement of NK cell activity was dependent on cell-to-cell contact as determined by a Transwell assay. It was hypothesized that NK cell effector functions against Ab-coated tumor cells were enhanced via binding of MICA on monocytes to NK cell NKG2D receptors. Strategies to block MICA–NKG2D interactions resulted in reductions in IFNg production. Depletion of monocytes in vivo resulted in decreased IFNg production by murine NK cells upon exposure to Ab-coated tumor cells. In mice receiving trastuzumab and IL12 therapy, monocyte depletion resulted in significantly greater tumor growth in comparison to mock-depleted controls (P < 0.05). These data suggest that NK cell–monocyte interactions enhance NK cell antitumor activity in the setting of monoclonal Ab therapy for cancer.

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