Defects in the acquisition of tumor-killing capability of CD8+ cytotoxic T cells in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice

Shu Ching Chen, Yu Chia Su, Ya Ting Lu, Patrick Chow In Ko, Pei Yu Chang, Hung Ju Lin, Hong Nerng Ho, Yo Ping Lai

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging evidences have shown that diabetes mellitus not only raises risk but also heightens mortality rate of cancer. It is not clear, however, whether antitumor CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response is down-modulated in diabetic hosts. We investigated the impact of hyperglycemia on CTLs' acquisition of tumor-killing capability by utilizing streptozotocininduced diabetic (STZ-diabetic) mice. Murine diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of STZ (200 mg/kg) in C57BL/6 mice, 2C-T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic and P14-TCR transgenic mice. The study found that, despite harboring intact proliferative capacity measured with CFSE labeling and MTT assay, STZ-diabetic CD8+ CTLs displayed impaired effector functions. After stimulation, STZ-diabetic CD8 + CTLs produced less perforin and TNFα assessed by intracellular staining, as well as expressed less CD103 protein. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of STZ-diabetic P14 CD8+ effector cells showed an insufficient recruitment to the B16.gp33 melanoma and inadequate production of perforin, granzyme B and TNFa determined by immunohistochemistry in the tumor milieu. As a result, STZ-diabetic CD8+ effector cells were neither able to eliminate tumor nor to improve survival of tumor-bearing mice. Taken together, our data suggest that CD8+ CTLs are crippled to infiltrate into tumors and thus fail to acquire tumor-killing capability in STZ-diabetic hosts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere109961
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 12 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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