Although the role of the complement system in cancer development has been studied, its involvement in the development of an antitumoral immune response remains poorly understood. Using cobra venom factor (CVF) to inhibit the complement cascade via C3 molecule exhaustion in immunocompetent mice bearing B16gp33 melanoma tumors, we show that transient inhibition of the complement system allowed for the development of a more robust gp33-specific antitumoral CD8+ T-cell response. This immune response proved to be natural killer (NK) dependent, suggesting an interaction of complement proteins with this cellular subset leading to T lymphocyte activation and enhanced cytotoxic T-cell activity against tumor cells. This study demonstrates for the first time the implication of the complement system in the development of NK-mediated cytotoxic T-cell–dependent antitumoral immune responses. The complement pathway could therefore be a potent therapeutic target to improve NK-dependent antitumoral immune responses in patients with cancer. Cancer Immunol Res; 2(3); 1–7. ©2013 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Immunology Research Online (http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received October 3, 2013.
- Revision received October 28, 2013.
- Accepted November 21, 2013.
- ©2013 American Association for Cancer Research.