Study objectives: To determine the different effects of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-10, IL-12, and/or T-cell receptor (TCR)-CD3 engagement in recovering the functions of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) from malignant effusion.
Setting: National teaching hospital.
Materials and methods: Effusion-associated lymphocytes (EAL) were isolated from 35 malignant pleural effusions. Interferon (IFN)-γ production, proliferative response, and cytolytic activity of the cultured EAL against autologous tumors and K-562 cells were measured.
Results: It was found that EAL had a significantly depressed function. Stimulation with two signals, including IL-2 plus IL-7, IL-2 plus IL-12, or IL-2 plus TCR-CD3 engagement, could fully restore the functions of EAL, including IFN-γ production, proliferative response, and a specific increase in cytolytic activity against autologous tumor cells. IL-4 and IL-10, whether or not in combination with IL-2, did not augment the function of EAL, and even depressed it in some cases. The lymphocyte-depletion test showed that most of the recovered functions were from CD8+ CTL.
Conclusion: The depressed cellular function of EAL could be reversed with double signal stimulation, including IL-2 plus IL-7, IL-2 plus IL-12, or IL-2 plus TCR-CD3 engagement. These recovered cellular functions were mainly from CD8+ CTL.