The ability of tumor cells to grow progressively in vivo despite the host immune response remains a major conundrum in tumor immunology. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain how tumors evade immune destruction. The work presented herein shows that simple alterations in plasma membrane phospholipid composition can alter susceptibility to immune lysis. The phospholipid composition of target cells was specifically altered by growth in medium containing choline analogs. Manipulation of membrane phospholipids was observed to alter cell susceptibility to murine CTL but not NK cell lysis. The effects of such changes in phospholipid composition on CTL-mediated lysis appeared to occur during the recognition phase of lysis. This mechanism could be a means by which tumor cells, as well as other pathogenic organisms, escape immune detection and destruction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy