Natural Killer Cells from Malignant Pleural Effusion Are Endowed with a Decidual-Like Proangiogenic Polarization

We investigated whether Natural killer cells from peripheral blood and pleural effusions of patients develop decidual-like NK phenotype and whether exposure to IL-2 can restore their killing ability in the presence of pleural fluids

Annalisa Bosi


Scholarcy highlights

  • Natural killer cells are lymphoid cells of the innate immune system included in the recent redefined family of innate lymphoid cells as type 1 ILC and represent about 10–20% of total lymphocytes in human peripheral blood
  • Representative dot plots of patients with inflammatory and primary and metastatic tumor pleural effusions show the distribution of CD56brightCD16− NK cell subset in PB and PE samples)
  • We found that lower degranulation capabilities correlated with a decrease of the percentage of perforin+ NK cells in Inflammatory pleural effusion and primary tumor pleural effusion as compared to autologous PB-NK, which became significant in iPE, tumor metastasis pleural effusion, and ptPE–5(e))
  • It has been shown that inflammatory conditions in the pleura are associated with a supportive microenvironment for the growth of cancer cells with a specific recruitment and accumulation of monocytes/macrophages, dendritic cells, and lymphocytes, while only limited information exists on NK cells in malignant pleural effusions
  • We found that PE-NK cells display a higher amount of intracellular vascular endothelial growth factor as compared to autologous and healthy PB-NK cells that became statistically significant from those isolated from tmPE fluids
  • Flow cytometric analysis revealed very similar percentages of total NK cells between all PB and PE samples and healthy controls)
  • Our data suggest a crucial role for PE tumor microenvironment in shaping NK cell polarization from killer to builder proangiogenic cells resembling decidual NK cells, placing NK cells as new inflammatory hallmark for malignant pleural effusions

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