Breast cancer cell CD200 expression regulates immune response to EMT6 tumor cells in mice
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CD200 has been characterized as an important immunoregulatory molecule, increased expression of which can lead to decreased transplant rejection, autoimmunity, and allergic disease. Elevated CD200 expression has been reported to be associated with poor prognosis in a number of human malignancies. We have found that cells of the transplantable EMT6 mouse breast cancer line growing in vitro express low levels of CD200, but levels increase markedly during growth in immunocompetent mice. Similar increased in vivo expression does not occur in NOD-SCID.IL-2γr−/− mice or mice with generalized over-expression of a CD200 transgene. In both mice, tumor growth occurs faster. Altered CD200 expression in control versus transgenic mice is accompanied by reproducible changes in tumor-infiltrating host cells, and altered cell composition in lymph nodes draining the tumor (DLN). Neutralization of expressed CD200 by anti-CD200mAbs leads to decreased tumor growth in immunocompetent mice, with improved detection of cytotoxic anti-tumor immune cells in DLN. Finally, we report that tumor growth in vivo can be monitored by levels of soluble CD200 (sCD200) in serum of tumor-bearing animals.