PURPOSE. To explore the role of natural killer T (NKT) cells in the development of liver metastases in mice harboring intraocular melanomas. METHODS. Cells derived from the cutaneous B16 melanoma cell line (B16LS9) were transplanted either into the vitreous body or under the spleen capsules of wild-type C57BL/6 mice and NKT-cell- deficient Jα18-/- and CD1d-/- mice. The development of liver metastases was evaluated by histopathology. The effect of NK cells on liver metastases was determined by selective depletion with anti-asialo-GM1 antiserum in vivo and NK-cell-mediated cytolysis of B16LS9 melanoma cells in vitro. The role of IL-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β in the inhibition of liver NK resistance to liver metastases was determined by in vivo and in vitro neutralization with monoclonal antibodies. RESULTS. Liver NKT cells, especially type I NKT cells, enhanced liver metastases arising from intraocular melanomas. NKT-cell-deficient mice developed significantly fewer liver metastases that were NK-cell dependent. Tumor-induced liver NKT cells, especially type I NKT cells, inhibited liver NK-cell cytotoxicity by an IL-10-dependent process. CONCLUSIONS. NKT cells exert protective effects in many murine tumor models. However, the present results reveal that NKT cells exacerbate liver metastases arising from intraocular melanomas. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report that liver NKT cells, especially type I NKT cells, inhibit liver NK-cell antimetastatic activity by the production of IL-10. These results suggest that hepatic NKT cell activity can have an important effect in the immune surveillance of liver metastases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience