eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 43
Clinical immunology

Functional activity of natural killer cells in biological fluids in patients with colorectal and ovarian cancers

Natalia V. Yunusova
Marina N. Stakheyeva
Sergey V. Molchanov
Sergey G. Afanas’ev
Anastasia A. Tsydenova
Larisa A. Kolomiets
Nadejda V. Cherdyntseva

(Centr Eur J Immunol 2018; 43 (1): 26-32)
Online publish date: 2018/03/30
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Aim of the study
To compare the functional activity of natural killer cells depending on the presence of a malignant process and its dissemination.

Material and methods
The study included 20 patients with Stage IIIB, C (FIGO, 2009) ovarian cancer, 10 patients with benign ovarian tumours (BOT), and 20 patients with colorectal cancer (T2-4N0-2M0). The control group consisted of 9 healthy donors. To evaluate the number and functional activity of NK cells, multicolour flow cytometry was performed.

In cancer patients, the relative number of activated NK cells secreting granzyme B (GB) (CD56+CD107a+GB+PF–) was significantly decreased, and the proportion of degranulated NK cells (CD56+CD107a+GB–PF–) was significantly increased, compared to those observed in healthy donors. The total number of NK cells in peripheral blood was low in ovarian cancer patients (p < 0.05). The proportion of activated peripheral blood NK cells containing cytolytic granules GB and perforin (PF) in colorectal cancer patients increased with tumour growth. However, lymph node metastasis did not affect the content and activation of NK cells. Comparative analysis of NK-cell populations in patients with benign and malignant ovarian tumours revealed that the level of CD56+ cells was significantly higher in ascites than in peripheral blood. However, CD56+CD107a+ activated cells and CD56+CD107a+GB+PF+ cells were found more frequently in ascites of BOT patients than in ovarian cancer patients. The degranulated population of NK cells (CD56+CD107a+GB–PF–) was mainly observed in the peri­pheral blood of ovarian cancer patients.


colorectal cancer, ascites, peripheral blood, ovarian cancer, natural killer cells, functional activity

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