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Article
August 1997

Inhibition of Lymphocyte Function by Head and Neck Carcinoma Cell Line Soluble Factors

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Bailet, Chen, and Mickel) and the Department of Medicine (Dr Lichtenstein), Veterans Affairs Medical Center West Los Angeles, the University of California, Los Angeles; UCLA School of Medicine (Drs Bailet, Lichtenstein, and Mickel); The Jonsson Cancer Center (Drs Lichtenstein and Mickel); and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center West Los Angeles Cancer Center (Drs Lichtenstein and Mickel), Los Angeles, Calif.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(8):855-862. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900080089011
Abstract

Background:  Immunosuppression in patients with head and neck cancer is well recognized. Previous investigations have demonstrated graded immunosuppression that becomes more pronounced as lymphocyte activity is measured closer to the primary neoplasm. In fresh tumors, a soluble factor has been identified that may partly account for the observed graded immunosuppression.

Objective:  To examine the effect of soluble factors produced by head and neck sqamous cell carcinoma cell lines on the generation of lymphokine activated killer cell cytotoxicity and peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation induced by interleukin 2, concanavalin A, and phytohemagglutinin.

Design:  Conditioned supernatant fluids were generated in a 4-day incubation period, using 5 head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines, and were assayed for the ability to inhibit the generation of lymphokine activated killer cell cytotoxicity and naive peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation induced by interleukin 2, concanavalin A, and phytohemagglutinin.

Results:  All conditioned supernatant fluids significantly inhibited the generation of lymphokine activated killer cell cytotoxicity relative to controls, and this inhibition was dose dependent. In contrast, supernatant fluids from a myelogenous leukemic tumor cell line, K562, and an ovarian epithelial cell line, SKOV-3, failed to inhibit cytotoxicity. Supernatant fluids conditioned with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines also profoundly inhibited the naive peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation induced by interleukin 2, concanavalin A, and phytohemagglutinin.

Conclusions:  These studies demonstrate that the cell lines of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma produce soluble factors that inhibit lymphocyte function. Furthermore, these experiments suggest that the inhibition previously observed with enzymatically disaggregated fresh tumors is due to factors produced by the tumor cells rather than by other cells within the tumor matrix.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:855-862

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