Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 316314, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/316314
Research Article

Expansion of CD16-Negative Natural Killer Cells in the Peripheral Blood of Patients with Metastatic Melanoma

1Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
2Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
4Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Received 14 October 2010; Revised 17 December 2010; Accepted 17 January 2011

Academic Editor: Ronald Herberman

Copyright © 2011 Shernan G. Holtan 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.

Abstract

Altered natural killer (NK) cell function is a component of the global immune dysregulation that occurs in advanced malignancies. Another condition associated with altered NK homeostasis is normal pregnancy, where robust infiltration with CD16− CD9+ NK cells can be identified in decidual tissues, along with a concomitant expansion of CD16− NK cells in the maternal peripheral blood. In metastatic melanoma, we identified a similar expansion of peripheral blood CD16− NK cells (median 7.4% in 41 patients with melanoma compared with 3.0% in 29 controls, ). A subset of NK cells in melanoma patients also expresses CD9, which is characteristically expressed only on NK cells within the female reproductive tract. Expansion of CD16− NK cells was associated with elevated plasma transforming growth factor-beta (TGF- levels (median 20 ng/ml, Spearman's )). These findings suggest the possibility of exploring anti-TGF- therapy to restore NK function in melanoma.