Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA 15213, USA.
We have recently reported that MHC class I Ag-processing machinery (APM) component expression in dendritic cells (DC) might be down-regulated by tumor cells. However, the tumor-derived factors responsible for inhibition of the APM component expression in DC generated in the tumor microenvironment as well as potential protective mechanism have not yet been investigated. In this article, we demonstrate that expression of several MHC class I APM components, including MB1 (beta5), LMP2, LMP7, LMP10, and ERp57, is significantly down-regulated in human DC generated in the presence of primary oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines or coincubated with purified gangliosides. Suppression of MHC class I APM component expression in DC generated in the presence of tumor cells was significantly attenuated by the inhibition of glucosyl transferase in tumor cells, suggesting that tumor-induced MHC class I APM component down-regulation in DC was mediated in part by oral squamous cell carcinoma-derived gangliosides. Furthermore, rIL-15 restored both tumor cell-induced and ganglioside-induced MHC class I APM component expression in DC, as well as their ability to present Ags to autologous Ag-specific T cells. These results demonstrate that IL-15 restores MHC class I APM component expression in DC down-regulated by tumor-derived gangliosides.