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Direct activation of human CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes by interleukin-18.

Authors:Kohyama M, Saijyo K, Hayasida M, Yasugi T, Kurimoto M, Ohno T.

Journal:Jpn J Cancer Res. 1998 Oct;89(10):1041-6.

Abstract:Direct activation of human cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) by interleukin (IL)-18 was observed in a system in which CTL effective against autologous tumor cells were generated. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from tumor-bearing patients, after removal of natural killer (NK) cells, were cultured in a medium containing IL-1, -2, -4, and -6, with or without IL-18, and stimulated with autologous tumor cells. IL-18 increased the activity of the CTL and the proportion of autologous CD8+ T cells present after 28 days in the induction culture. When purified CD8+ T cells were cultured in the presence of IL-18 and IL-2 for 7 days, the CTL showed enhanced cytotoxic activity against autologous tumor cells. Moreover, a purified CD8+ T cell population, which did not exhibit any apparent cytotoxic activity against autologous tumor cells, displayed cytotoxic activity after 7-day incubation with IL-18. These results suggest that IL-18 may be useful to generate autologous CTL in humans and may thereby contribute to adoptive immunotherapy for tumors.