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DR antigen expression on ovarian carcinoma cells does not correlate with their capacity to elicit an autologous proliferative response

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Expression of HLA-DR antigens by purified preparations of human ovarian carcinoma cells freshly isolated from surgical specimens was examined in parallel with the capacity of tumor cells to elicit a blastogenic response from autologous lymphocytes in mixed lymphocyte-tumor culture (MLTC) assay. Of 21 tumor preparations, 11 (52%) reacted with monoclonal antibodies 279 and/or 949 specific for a monomorphic determinant of HLA-DR antigens, with heterogeneous positivity, ranging between 30% and 95%. In this series of patients positive MLTC occurred in 8/21 individual experiments. The HLA-DR expression was proportionally similar in tumors giving positive MLTC (4/8=50%) and negative MLTC (7/13=53%). The lack of correlation between DR expression on tumor cells and stimulatory activity in autologous MLTC and the fact that DR-negative tumors could induce lymphocyte stimulation, support the hypothesis that blastogenesis occurs upon recognition of tumor-associated antigens, different from DR molecules, possibly tumor-specific antigens.

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Correspondence to Paola Allavena.

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Di Bello, M., Lucchini, V., Chiari, S. et al. DR antigen expression on ovarian carcinoma cells does not correlate with their capacity to elicit an autologous proliferative response. Cancer Immunol Immunother 27, 63–68 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00205760

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  • Tumor Cell
  • Ovarian Carcinoma
  • Individual Experiment
  • Proliferative Response
  • Antigen Expression