The effects of IL-10 producing monocytes on T-cell activation in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer
A newly described subset of monocytes has been identified in peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) from the malignant ascites of patients with ovarian cancer. These cells were characterized by the production of IL-10 and TGF-β2, but not IL-12, IL-1α, or TNF-α, and expressed CD14, CD16, and CD54, but not HLA-DR, CD80, CD86, CD11a, CD11b, or CD25 cell surface antigens. Since this subset of monocytes could affect the modulation of tumor immune responses in vivo, studies were undertaken to determine their effect on the activation and proliferation of autologous T-cells from the peritoneal cavity of patients with ovarian carcinoma. Cytokine transcripts, including IL-2, GM-CSF, and IFN-γ were detected in T-cells isolated from patient specimens that also contained the IL-10 producing monocytes, although the IFN-γ and IL-2 proteins could not be detected in T-cells co-incubated with the IL-10 producing monocytes in vitro. Additionally, IL-10 producing monocytes co-cultured with autologous T-cells inhibited the proliferation of the T-cells in response to PHA. T-cell proliferation and cytokine protein production could be restored by the addition of neutralizing antibodies to IL-10R and TGF-β to the co-culture system. These results suggested that this subset of monocytes may modulate antitumor immune responses by inhibiting T-cell proliferation and cytokine protein production. Further studies determined that the precursors to the inhibitory monocytes were tumor-associated and only present in the peripheral blood of patients with ovarian cancer and not present in the peripheral blood of healthy donors. These precursors could be induced to the suppressor phenotype by the addition of IL-2 and GM-CSF, two cytokines detected in the peritoneal cavity of ovarian cancer patients. Lastly, it was shown that the suppressor monocytes from the peritoneal cavity of ovarian cancer patients could be differentiated to a non-inhibitory phenotype by the addition of TNF-α and IFN-γ to the culture system. The differentiated monocytes did not produce IL-10, expressed the activation antigens HLA-DR, CD80, and CD86, and were able to stimulate autologous T-cells in vitro. Since a concomitant reduction in immune function is associated with tumor growth and progression, the effects of these monocytes are of considerable importance in the context of tumor immunotherapy.
Loercher, Amy Elizabeth, "The effects of IL-10 producing monocytes on T-cell activation in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer" (1999). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9942092.