PURPOSE: Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary intraocular tumor in adults and the presence of infiltrating leucocytes is associated with a poor prognosis. Little is known how infiltrating leucocytes influence the tumor cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of activated T cells on the expression of chemotactic cytokines in UM cells. Furthermore, we examined the ability of stimulated UM cells to attract monocytes. METHODS: We used an in vitro coculture system in which UM cell lines and T cells were cultured together, but separated by a membrane. Uveal melanoma gene expression was quantified using a microarray. Protein expression in the supernatant was quantified with ELISA or cytometric bead array. For the monocyte migration assay, a transwell plate was used. RESULTS: Gene-expression analysis of UM cell lines showed that coculture with activated T cells resulted in an upregulation of chemokines such as CXCL8, CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL11, CCL2, CCL5, VEGF, intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1), and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). The upregulation of these molecules was confirmed at the protein level. This increase of chemokines coincided with an increased chemotactic capacity of the supernatant toward monocytes. CONCLUSIONS: Cytokines derived from activated T cells shifted the UM cell transcriptome toward a more inflammatory state, including upregulation of several chemokines, which led to an increased migration of monocytes. Therefore, UM cells might actively participate in generating a tumor-promoting inflammatory microenvironment.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 2014, Vol 55, Issue 8, p. 5169-75