Theorell J, Gustavsson AL, Tesi B, Sigmundsson K, Ljunggren HG, Lundbäck T, Bryceson YT
Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 63 (6) 627-641 [2014-06-00; online 2014-03-30]
Natural killer (NK) cells mediate defense against neoplastic as well as infected cells. Yet, how their effector functions are affected by the large variety of pharmacological compounds commonly in use has not been investigated systematically. Here, we screened 1,200 in-use or previously approved drugs for their biological effect on freshly isolated human peripheral blood-derived NK cells. Mimicking antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), known to be important in antibody-based immunotherapies against, e.g., human malignancies, the cells were stimulated by Fc-receptor (CD16) engagement. Cellular responses were assessed by flow cytometry. Fifty-six compounds that significantly inhibited and twelve that enhanced one or more of the readouts of adhesion, exocytosis, and chemokine production were identified and confirmed as hits. Among the confirmed inhibitors, 80 % could be assigned to one of seven major pharmacological classes. These classes were β2-adrenergic agonists, prostaglandins, phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors, Ca(2+)-channel blockers, histamine H1-receptor antagonists, serotonin/dopamine receptor antagonists, and topoisomerase inhibitors that displayed distinct inhibitory patterns on NK cell responses. Among observed enhancers, interestingly, two ergosterol synthesis inhibitors were identified that specifically promoted exocytosis. In summary, these results provide a comprehensive knowledge base of the effect known drugs have on NK cells. More specifically, they provide an overview of drugs that may modulate NK cell-mediated ADCC in the context of clinical immunotherapies.