α-fetoprotein impairs APC function and induces their apoptosis

Soon Ho Um, Catherine Mulhall, Akeel Alisa, Annette Robyn Ives, John Karani, Roger Williams, Antonio Bertoletti, Shahriar Behboudi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    94 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    α-Fetoprotein (AFP) is a tumor-associated Ag, and its serum level is elevated in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In vitro, AFP induces functional impairment of dendritic cells (DCs). This was demonstrated by the down-regulation of CD40 and CD86 molecnles and the impairment of allostimulatory function. Also, AFP was found to induce significant apoptosis of DCs, and AFP-treated DCs produced low levels of IL-12 and TNF-α, a cytokine pattern that could hamper an efficient antitumor immune response. Ex vivo, APCs of patients with HCC and high levels of AFP produced lower levels of TNF-α than that of healthy individuals. In conclusion, these results illustrate that AFP induces dysfunction and apoptosis of APCs, thereby offering a mechanism by which HCC escapes immunological control.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1772-1778
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Immunology
    Volume173
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004 Aug 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology

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