Certain cytokines are involved in the generation of natural killer (NK) cells and participate in the regulation of the proto-oncogene bcl-2. We aimed to study the mRNA expression of interleukin (IL) -2, IL-4 and IL-5, the composition of the tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), and the expression of bcl-2 in 14 benign and malignant human parotid tumours. TIL were predominantly composed of T lymphocytes and NK cells. We found evidence for the homing of T cells, and for generation of NK cells in the vicinity of the tumours, mRNA for IL-2 and IL-12, were identified but IL-4 mRNA was not found. The cytokine profiles and the composition of TIL of the two tumour categories were indistinguishable, suggesting that these host-response variables do not explain the differences in biological behaviour of these particular tumours. The results support a shift towards Th1 (T helper 1) cells and interferon-γ production, and that IL-12 also in vivo may play an important role in the regulatory interaction between innate resistance and adaptive immunity in tumour diseases. Most infiltrating lymphocytes showed strong expression of bcl-2; an interesting observation with regard to lymphocytic apoptosis in neoplastic diseases. The immunoreactivity fot the bcl-2 protein varied considerably between and within tumours, and almost all benign tumours showed strong bcl-2 positively whereas several of the malignant tumours showed weak or absent staining. The variable expression of bcl-2 protein suggests a different susceptibility of tumour cells to apoptosis. The results also indicate that bcl-2 cannot play a major role as protective agent in the specific apoptotic pathway induced by NK cells.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
- NK cells
- Salivary gland neoplasms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine