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Transforming growth factor-β released by PPD-presenting malignant mesothelioma cells inhibits interferon-γ synthesis by an anti-PPD CD4+ T-cell clone

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Besides acting complexely on both normal and tumor cells, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) can determine the nature of the response to the antigen, strongly inhibiting the differentiation of naive CD4+ T-cells toward a T helper-1 (Th-1) phenotype; in a number of experimental models, TGF-β also appeared to be a potent immunosuppressant factor. TGF-β was shown to be released by some human malignant mesothelioma (MMe) cells, which affects the immune response to this tumor. Thus, for a better understanding of the role of TGF-β in the immune response to MMe cells, we evaluated the production of a Th-1 cytokine (IFN-γ) and of a Th-2 cytokine (IL-4), following Purified Protein Derivative (PPD) recall antigen presentation by human MMe cells to a class-II major histocompatibility complex (MHC-II)-matched PPD clone (PPD clone). Our data confirm that human MMe cells possess the unusual capability of presenting a common recall antigen to CD4+ lymphocytes but also show that these tumor cells can abrogate Th-1 immune response, as evidenced by a shift in favor of the production of IL-4 over that of IFN-γ, through a TGF-β-mediated pathway; only the simultaneous block of TGF-β1 and β2 effects can significantly restore a typical Th-1 pattern of cytokine production by PPD clone in response to PPD presentation by MMe. Even though the role of TGF-β in the promotion of MMe growth should be further and better defined, this effect should be considered when designing new therapeutical approaches aimed at improving the immune response to MMe.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Servizio di Immunologia, Università di Genova, Ospedale San Martino, Genova, Italy

Publication date: January 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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