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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The modulation of B16BL6 melanoma metastasis is not directly mediated by cytolytic activity of natural killer cells in alcohol-consuming mice.

BACKGROUND: Previous studies in our laboratory indicate that alcohol consumption suppresses the metastasis of B16BL6 melanoma, whereas the cytolytic activity of natural killer (NK) cells is decreased in female C57BL/6 mice given 20% w/v alcohol in their drinking water. In the present study, we further evaluated the involvement of NK cells and alcohol consumption in the cytolytic activity of NK cells, the surface expression of NK phenotypic markers, and metastasis of B16BL6 melanoma in C57BL/6 beige (bgJ/bgJ) mutant mice, which possess inherently low NK-cell cytolytic activity. METHODS: Beige and control (bgJ/+) mice were given either water or 20% w/v of alcohol in drinking water for 6 1/2 to 7 weeks before assay for cytolytic activity, surface marker expression, and inoculation with B16BL6 melanoma intravenously or into the pinna of the ear. RESULTS: NK cytolytic activity was suppressed in beige mice, and alcohol consumption did not modulate further the cytolytic activity. Beige mice had a lower percentage of NK cells in the peripheral blood and spleen than control mice. Peripheral blood lymphocytes from beige mice also exhibited a reduced percentage of CD4+ T lymphocytes. Alcohol consumption similarly reduced the percentages of NK1.1- and LGL-1-expressing lymphocytes in the peripheral blood and spleen and reduced the percentage of CD8+ T lymphocytes in the peripheral blood in both control and beige mice. Tumor lung colonization was increased in beige mice relative to control mice after intravenous inoculation of B16BL6 melanoma. The increase was more pronounced in water-drinking beige mice than in control mice irrespective of alcohol consumption. Tumor lung colonization was significantly decreased (p < 0.05) by alcohol consumption in one experiment and partially decreased (p = 0.07) in the other. Mice that were inoculated into the pinna of the ear also exhibited a blunted antimetastatic response to alcohol consumption. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that the presence of the beige mutation diminishes the antimetastatic effect of alcohol consumption and that there is no interaction between alcohol consumption and NK-cell activity in the modulation of lung metastasis of B16BL6 melanoma cells.[1]


  1. The modulation of B16BL6 melanoma metastasis is not directly mediated by cytolytic activity of natural killer cells in alcohol-consuming mice. Spitzer, J.H., Núñez, N.P., Meadows, S.A., Gallucci, R.M., Blank, S.E., Meadows, G.G. Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. (2000) [Pubmed]
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