Fas-FasL expression and interactions in mouse tumor cell lines: Implications for tumor immune escape

Kamalaveni Prabhakaran, Florida International University


The Fas system, comprising the Fas receptor (Fas/Apo-1/CD95) and its ligand, Fas ligand (FasL), is a central mediator of programmed cell death in various physiological and pathological processes. FasL exists as transmembrane and soluble forms and induces apoptosis on crosslinking with Fas receptor. Recent evidence indicated that tumor cells exploit this system for their immunologic escape that includes the loss of Fas and the gain of FasL expression. In the present study, nine mouse tumor cell lines of diverse origin were examined immunocytochemically for the expression of Fas and FasL. Nine of nine cell lines expressed FasL, and five of nine cell lines expressed Fas. FasL expression in these tumor cell lines was demonstrated to be functional by its induction of apoptosis in Fas-sensitive target cells in coculture experiments. These results suggest that FasL may be a prevalent mediator of immune privilege in mouse malignancies, and support the recently proposed "counterattack model" for local elimination of tumor-reactive immune cells by tumor cell-derived FasL. Culture supernatant of four cell lines expressing FasL showed cytotoxic effect on Fas-sensitive target cells, indicating the possibility of secreted FasL in the medium. The Fas-expressing cell lines were sensitized to anti-Fas antibody cytotoxicity following treatment with IL-2 and IFN-$\gamma$, suggesting cytokine stimulation as an effective target for future immunotherapeutic strategies.

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Recommended Citation

Prabhakaran, Kamalaveni, "Fas-FasL expression and interactions in mouse tumor cell lines: Implications for tumor immune escape" (1999). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1395703.