Research Papers:

Altered expression of CD226 and CD96 on natural killer cells in patients with pancreatic cancer

Yun-Peng Peng, Chun-Hua Xi, Yi Zhu, Ling-Di Yin, Ji-Shu Wei, Jing-Jing Zhang, Xin-Chun Liu, Song Guo, Yue Fu and Yi Miao _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:66586-66594. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11953

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Yun-Peng Peng1,*, Chun-Hua Xi1,*, Yi Zhu1,2,*, Ling-Di Yin1, Ji-Shu Wei1, Jing-Jing Zhang1,2, Xin-Chun Liu1, Song Guo1, Yue Fu1 and Yi Miao1,2

1 Department of General Surgery, Pancreas Centre, First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, P.R.China

2 Institute of Tumor Biology, Jiangsu Province Academy of Clinical Medicine, Nanjing, P.R.China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yi Miao, email:

Keywords: CD226; CD96; TIGIT; NK cells; pancreatic cancer

Received: February 01, 2016 Accepted: September 02, 2016 Published: September 10, 2016


The progression of pancreatic cancer (PC) is significantly associated with tumor immune escape, which may be associated with nature killer (NK) cell dysfunction. CD226, CD96, and TIGIT, which share the ligand CD155, play important roles in the regulation of NK cell function. The present study was conducted to investigate the roles of these molecules in NK cells from PC patients. Expression of these molecules on NK cells was detected from samples of 92 pancreatic cancer patients and 40 healthy controls. The expression of CD155 was also evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 88 pancreatic cancer tissues. The percentage of CD226+ and CD96+ NK cells was significantly lower in PC patients than in the healthy controls; however, the mean fluorescence intensity of CD226 and CD96 was not significantly different between the two groups. TIGIT expression on NK cells from PC patients was similar to that in the healthy controls. Additionally, the expression of CD226 was positively correlated with CD96. Further analysis demonstrated that the decrease in the percentage of CD226+ and CD96+ NK cells was associated with tumor histological grade and lymph node metastasis. Moreover, the CD155 levels in PC tissues were significantly higher than those in adjacent tissues. Our results suggest that a lower percentage of CD226+ and CD96+ NK cells may contribute to tumor immune escape in PC patients; moreover, the use of NK cells with high CD226 and CD96 expression to treat PC cells with high CD155 expression may have potential and should be explored in the future.

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