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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 901564, 7 pages
Research Article

Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxicity and Immunosuppressive Cytokines (IL-10, TGF- 1) in Patients with Gastric Cancer

1Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Medical Sciences in Poznań, Wieniawskiego 3 Street, 61-712 Poznań, Poland
2Department of General, Gastroenterological and Endocrinological Surgery, University of Medical Sciences in Poznań, Przybyszewskiego 49 Street, 60-355 Poznań, Poland
3Department of Clinical Pathomorphology, University of Medical Sciences in Poznań, Przybyszewskiego 49 Street, 60-355 Poznań, Poland

Received 18 August 2009; Accepted 16 February 2010

Academic Editor: Manoor Prakash Hande

Copyright © 2010 Andrzej Szkaradkiewicz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cytotoxic activity of NK cells was estimated as related to IL-10 and TGF- 1 serum levels and Helicobacter pylori infection in gastric cancer patients. Moreover, we sought to determine whether human gastric adenocarcinoma cells in vitro release IL-10, TGF- 1 or factor(s) affecting NK cytotoxicity. The studies were conducted on 42 patients with gastric cancer (14 with I-II stage—group 1; 28 with III-IV stage—group 2) and on 20 healthy volunteers. The cytotoxicity was tested on NK cells isolated from peripheral blood. IL-10 and TGF- 1 levels were determined by ELISA. H. pylori was detected in cultures of gastric mucosa biopsies and in direct preparations. In 71.4% patients of group 1 NK cytotoxicity and IL-10 serum levels remained within a normal range while in 68% patients of group 2 a marked decrease was noted in cytotoxic function of NK cells, accompanied by increased levels of IL-10 in serum. In turn, in most patients of either group, independently of NK cytotoxicity and stage grouping in the patients, elevated serum levels of TGF- 1 were detected. Presence of H. pylori infection manifested no relationship with NK cytotoxicity, IL-10, or the TGF- 1 serum levels. In cultures of tumour cells presence of IL-10 and TGF- 1 was demonstrated. Nevertheless, supernatants of the cultures did not change cytotoxic activity of NK cells. Development of gastric carcinoma is accompanied by markedly decreased cytotoxic function of NK cells and by elevated IL-10 and TGF- 1 serum levels. Gastric carcinoma cells may release IL-10, the suppressive activity of which may in a secondary manner decrease NK cytotoxicity.