The role of natural killer (NK) cells in retrovirus-induced leukemogenesis was studied. These cells which do not require prior sensitization are considered as a part of the body's defense system against tumor development and spread. Neonate BALB/c mice infected with Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoLV) develop leukemia within 3-6 months. The MoLV-infected mice showed a progressive loss of endogenous and augmented NK activity, correlated with the development of the leukemic state. Mixing of spleen cells from tumor-bearing mice with NK-augmented splenocytes resulted in suppression of NK activity. In addition, mixing of T cell lines isolated from MoLV-induced tumors with augmented splenocytes also resulted in the down-regulation of NK cell activity. The present study demonstrates that tumor cells from leukemic organs and leukemic T cell lines can actively suppress NK cell function. It is postulated that after MoLV infection the progression of virus-transformed T cells to a fully developed tumor depends on the ability of these cells to down-regulate NK cell activity and thus escape immune surveillance.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Natural Immunity and Cell Growth Regulation|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 1988|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry