The antigen recognition system which plays the major role in immunologic attraction mechanisms, including graft rejection, is the class II major histocompatibility complex containing the HLA-DR locus. Few types of cells constitutively express this antigen, as it is a potent immunological activating signal usually confined to antigen processing cells, activated lymphocytes, and endothelium. Using indirect immunofluorescence, we have observed induction of the HLA-DR glycoprotein in selected head and neck squamous cell carcinoma tissue cultures treated with recombinant interferon gamma. This occurs in concert with growth arrest and morphological changes after rHuIFN-γ treatment. This report describes the induction of a surface antigen that may have profound prognostic significance. Understanding the kinetics of HLA-DR induction will aid in the design and assessment of adoptive immunotherapy with rHuIFN-γ.
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