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Title: Primary head and neck cancer cell cultures are susceptible to proliferation of Epstein-Barr virus infected lymphocytes
Authors: Shao, S
Scholtz, LU
Gendreizig, S
Martínez-Ruiz, L
Florido, J
Escames, G
Schürmann, M
Hain, C:
Hose, L
Mentz, A
Schmidt, P
Wang, M
Goon, P 
Wehmeier, M
Brasch, F
Kalinowski, J
Oppel, F
Sudhoff, H
Keywords: Epstein-barr virus
Head and neck cancer
Human papilloma virus
Primary cell culture model
Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck
Herpesvirus 4, Human
Epstein-Barr Virus Infections
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Cell Proliferation
Cell Culture Techniques
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2023
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Citation: Shao, S, Scholtz, LU, Gendreizig, S, Martínez-Ruiz, L, Florido, J, Escames, G, Schürmann, M, Hain, C:, Hose, L, Mentz, A, Schmidt, P, Wang, M, Goon, P, Wehmeier, M, Brasch, F, Kalinowski, J, Oppel, F, Sudhoff, H (2023-12-01). Primary head and neck cancer cell cultures are susceptible to proliferation of Epstein-Barr virus infected lymphocytes. BMC Cancer 23 (1) : 47-. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: New concepts for a more effective anti-cancer therapy are urgently needed. Experimental flaws represent a major counter player of this development and lead to inaccurate and unreproducible data as well as unsuccessful translation of research approaches into clinics. In a previous study we have created epithelial cell cultures from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) tissue. Methods: We characterize primary cell populations isolated from human papillomavirus positive HNSCC tissue for their marker expression by RT-qPCR, flow cytometry, and immunofluorescence staining. Their sensitivity to MDM2-inhibition was measured using cell viability assays. Results: Primary HNSCC cell cultures showed the delayed formation of spheroids at higher passages. These spheroids mimicked the morphology and growth characteristics of other established HNSCC spheroid models. However, expression of epithelial and mesenchymal markers could not be detected in these cells despite the presence of the HNSCC stem cell marker aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member A1. Instead, strong expression of B- and T-lymphocytes markers was observed. Flow cytometry analysis revealed a heterogeneous mixture of CD3 + /CD25 + T-lymphocytes and CD19 + B-lymphocytes at a ratio of 4:1 at passage 5 and transformed lymphocytes at late passages (≥ passage 12) with CD45 + CD19 + CD20 + , of which around 10 to 20% were CD3 + CD25 + CD56 +. Interestingly, the whole population was FOXP3-positive indicative of regulatory B-cells (Bregs). Expression of transcripts specific for the Epstein-Barr-virus (EBV) was detected to increase in these spheroid cells along late passages, and this population was vulnerable to MDM2 inhibition. HPV + HNSCC cells but not EBV + lymphocytes were detected to engraft into immunodeficient mice. Conclusions: In this study we present a primary cell culture of EBV-infected tumor-infiltrating B-lymphocytes, which could be used to study the role of these cells in tumor biology in future research projects. Moreover, by describing the detailed characteristics of these cells, we aim to caution other researchers in the HNSCC field to test for EBV-infected lymphocyte contaminations in primary cell cultures ahead of further experiments. Especially researchers who are interested in TIL-based adopted immunotherapy should exclude these cells in their primary tumor models, e.g. by MDM2-inhibitor treatment. BI-12-derived xenograft tumors represent a suitable model for in vivo targeting studies.
Source Title: BMC Cancer
ISSN: 1471-2407
DOI: 10.1186/s12885-022-10481-y
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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