ANALYSIS OF THE CORYNEBACTERIUM PARVUM-INDUCED DECLINE OF MURINE NATURAL KILLER CELL-MEDIATED CYTOTOXICITY
Treatment of mice with the immunomodulating agent, Corynebacterium parvum (C. parvum), was shown to result in a severe and long-lasting depression of splenic natural killer (NK) cell-mediated cytotoxicity 5-21 days post-inoculation. Because NK cells have been implicated in immunosurveillance against malignancy (due to their spontaneous occurrence and rapid reactivity to a variety of histological types of tumors), as well as in resistance to established tumors, this decreased activity was of particular concern, since this effect is contrary to that which would be considered therapeutically desirable in cancer treatment (i.e. a potentiation of antitumor effector functions, including NK cell activity, would be expected to lead to a more effective destruction of malignant cells). Therefore, an analysis of the mechanism of this decline of splenic NK cell activity in C.parvum treated mice was undertaken. From in vitro co-culturing experiments, it was found that low NK-responsive C. parvum splenocytes were capable of reducing the normally high-reactivity of cells from untreated syngeneic mice to YAC-1 lymphoma, suggesting the presence of NK-directed suppressor cells in C. parvum treated animals. This was further supported by the demonstration of normal levels of cytotoxicity in C. parvum splenocyte preparations following Ficoll-Hypaque separation, which coincided with removal of the NK-suppressive capabilities of these cells. The T cell nature of these regulatory cells was indicated by (1) the failure of C. parvum to cause a reduction of NK cell activity, or the generation of NK-directed suppressor cells in T cell-deficient athymic mice, (2) the removal of C. parvum-induced suppression by T cell-depleting fractionation procedures or treatments, and (3) demonstration of suppression of NK cell activity by T cell-enriched C. parvum splenocytes. These studies suggest, therefore, that the eventual reduction of suppression by T cell elimination and/or inhibition, may result in a promotion of the antitumor effectiveness of C. parvum due to the contribution of "freed" NK effector cell activity. However, the temporary suppression of NK cell activity induced by C. parvum (reactivity of treated mice returns to normal levels within 28 days after C. parvum injection), may in fact be favorable in some situations, e.g. in bone marrow transplantation cases, since NK cells have been suggested to play a role also in the process of bone marrow graft rejection. Therefore, the discriminate use of agents such as C. parvum may allow for the controlled regulation of NK cell activity suggested to be necessary for the optimalization of therapeutic regimens.
SAVARY, CHERYLYN ANNETTE, "ANALYSIS OF THE CORYNEBACTERIUM PARVUM-INDUCED DECLINE OF MURINE NATURAL KILLER CELL-MEDIATED CYTOTOXICITY" (1980). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8022200.