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Title: Using expanded natural killer cells as therapy for invasive aspergillosis
Authors: Soe, W.M.
Lim, J.H.J.
Williams, D.L.
Goh, J.G.
Tan, Z.
Sam, Q.H. 
Chotirmall, S.H.
Ali, N.A.B.M.
Lee, S.C.
Seet, J.E. 
Ravikumar, S.
Chai, L.Y.A. 
Keywords: Antifungal immunity
Expanded natural killer cells
Fungal infection
Immune evasion
Immune recognition
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: MDPI AG
Citation: Soe, W.M., Lim, J.H.J., Williams, D.L., Goh, J.G., Tan, Z., Sam, Q.H., Chotirmall, S.H., Ali, N.A.B.M., Lee, S.C., Seet, J.E., Ravikumar, S., Chai, L.Y.A. (2020). Using expanded natural killer cells as therapy for invasive aspergillosis. Journal of Fungi 6 (4) : 1-Dec. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a major opportunistic fungal infection in patients with haematological malignancies. Morbidity and mortality rates are high despite anti-fungal treatment, as the compromised status of immune system prevents the host from responding optimally to conventional therapy. This raises the consideration for immunotherapy as an adjunctive treatment. In this study, we evaluated the utility of expanded human NK cells as treatment against Aspergillus fumigatus infection in vitro and in vivo. The NK cells were expanded and activated by K562 cells genetically modified to express 4-1BB ligand and membrane-bound interleukin-15 (K562-41BBL-mbIL-15) as feeders. The efficacy of these cells was investigated in A. fumigatus killing assays in vitro and as adoptive cellular therapy in vivo. The expanded NK cells possessed potent killing activity at low effector-to-target ratio of 2:1. Fungicidal activity was morphotypal-dependent and most efficacious against A. fumigatus conidia. Fungicidal activity was mediated by dectin-1 receptors on the expanded NK cells leading to augmented release of perforin, resulting in enhanced direct cytolysis. In an immunocompromised mice pulmonary aspergillosis model, we showed that NK cell treatment significantly reduced fungal burden, hence demonstrating the translational potential of expanded NK cells as adjunctive therapy against IA in immunocompromised patients. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Source Title: Journal of Fungi
ISSN: 2309608X
DOI: 10.3390/jof6040231
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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