Cholesterol metabolites dampen antitumor immune response
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have, in collaboration with researchers at the Scientific Institute San Raffaele in Milan, discovered that human and mouse tumors release cholesterol metabolites or LXR ligands dampening the antitumor immune response, thus allowing tumors to grow in an uncontrolled way. The findings are published in the top biomedical journal Nature Medicine.
According to the researchers, these metabolites particularly impair the function of a specialized subset of immune cells, which orchestrate the antigen-specific immune response, namely dendritic cells. The pharmacologic blockade of the mechanism restores the antitumor immune response in mouse tumor models, leading to tumor rejection.
The study, led at the Scientific Institute San Raffaele by Drs Russo and Traversari, offers hope of being able to treat tumors with drugs that affect cholesterol metabolism.
Tumor-mediated liver X receptor-± activation inhibits CC chemokine receptor-7 expression on dendritic cells and dampens antitumor responses
Nature Medicine 27 December 2009