Fas ligand (Fas-L) is a key molecule in normal immune development, homeostasis, modulation, and function. Recent reports suggested that tumor cells can evade immune attack by killing lymphocytes through expressing Fas-L on the tumor cell surface. The expression of Fas-L has been demonstrated in pancreatic cancer cell lines and in tissues. The messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression of Fas-L was investigated in four pancreatic cancer cell lines and 19 human pancreatic duct cell carcinomas (PDCs) by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry, respectively. In addition, coculture assay of Fas-L and Fas-expressing PANC-1 cells and Fas-sensitive Jurkat cells was performed. Fas-L mRNA expression was observed in all four cell lines as well as in 10 PDC tissues, and the protein expression was frequently detected in the PDC tissues (16 of 19 cases). The coculture experiments showed that PANC-1 cells induced apoptosis of Jurkat cells, whereas the PANC-1 cells themselves and Jurkat cells cultured without the presence of PANC-1 showed few apoptotic changes. These findings suggest that Fas-L may play an important role in the ability of PDCs to escape from immune surveillance through the induction of apoptosis in tumor-attacking lymphocytes. The frequent expression of Fas-L in PDCs may partly explain the notorious biologic behavior of PDCs.
- Pancreatic carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism