Examining the effect of activated cytotoxic (CD8+) T-cell exosomes to the lung cancer


Medical Oncology, vol.40, no.12, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12032-023-02198-0
  • Journal Name: Medical Oncology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CINAHL, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, Exosomes, Immunotherapy, Lung cancer, Metastasis
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


Lung cancer continues to be a major health problem worldwide owing to its incidence, and causes physical, psychological, social, and economic problems. Activated cytotoxic T cells (ACTC) are positively correlated with the tumor microenvironment (TME), improving the prognosis of cancer patients. Recently, ACTC-derived exosomes (ACTC-dExo) were implicated in this effect by inhibiting mesenchymal stem cells, which may promote metastasis in the TME. Exosomes are thought to be advantageous for the specific delivery of drugs to cancer cells because they have the characteristics of natural liposomes, are nanosized, and remain largely stable in the blood due to the protein and lipid content they carry on their membranes. In this study, we aimed to determine the cytotoxic and metastatic inhibitory effects of ACTC-dExo in A549 cells in vitro. Cytotoxic CD8+ T cells were isolated from whole blood obtained from healthy individuals and cultured for 5–7 days after stimulation. The ACTC-dExo serum-free culture medium was collected by ultracentrifugation. Characterization and quantification of the isolated exosomes were performed using flow cytometry, electron microscopy, zeta-sizer measurements, and bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assays. We co-cultured ACTC and ACTC-dExo with A549 cells for 48 h. The viability of A549 cells was evaluated using a WST-1 assay. The metastasis-related genes MMP2, MMP9, TWIST, SNAI1, and CDH1 were detected by qRT-PCR, and MMP2 and MMP9 proteins were evaluated by confocal microscopy. In addition, changes in cell migration were investigated using a scratch assay. ACTC-dExo were found to have anti-proliferative and anti-metastatic effects and reduced cancer cell proliferation and metastatic properties.