Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Title abbreviation: Adv Clin Exp Med
JCR Impact Factor (IF) – 1.736
5-Year Impact Factor – 2.135
Index Copernicus  – 168.52
MEiN – 70 pts

ISSN 1899–5276 (print)
ISSN 2451-2680 (online)
Periodicity – monthly

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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2018, vol. 27, nr 5, May, p. 583–589

doi: 10.17219/acem/68703

Publication type: original article

Language: English

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Interleukin 21 treatment in a murine model as a novel potential cytokine immunotherapy for colon cancer

Chen Chen1,A,B,C,D,E,F, Xiaoning Liu2,A,B,C,F, Yi Ren3,A,B,F

1 Clinical School, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, China

2 Central Laboratory of Huai’an First People’s Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, China

3 Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, Huai’an First People Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, China


Background. Interleukin 21 (IL-21), which belongs to the common γ-chain (γc) family, is a novel tumor suppressor that has been shown to affect T-cell proliferation, survival and function. However, the role of IL-21 in colon cancer remains unclear.
Objectives. We sought to determine whether IL-21 could inhibit the progression of colon cancer in mice; we also explored the mechanisms underlying the immunological effects of IL-21 in colon cancer.
Material and Methods. Exogenous IL-21 protein was expressed to treat tumor-bearing mice and the production of cytokine interleukin 4, interferon gamma and lambda from CD4+ T, CD8+ T, and NK cells were measured, along with the survival times of these tumor-bearing mice.
Results. Interleukin 21 promoted the secretion of interferon gamma from the CD4+ T, CD8+ T and NK cells and it enhanced the production of interferon lambda by the NK cells. More importantly, IL-21 treatment significantly enhanced antitumor effects in favor of tumor eradication. We also found that CD8+ T and NK cells are necessary for the antitumor immune responses elicited by IL-21.
Conclusion. Interleukin 21 is a powerful tool for activating CD8+ T cells and NK cells which exhibit potent cytolytic effector functions and should therefore be exploited for anticancer immunotherapy. Our findings support the development of a novel cytokine immunotherapy against colon cancer.

Key words

colon cancer, immunotherapy, interleukin 21, interferon γ

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