Phenotypic characterization and anti-tumor effects of cytokine-induced killer cells derived from cord blood

Zhen Zhang, Xianlan Zhao, Tengfei Zhang, Liping Wang, Lingzhu Yang, Lan Huang, Feng Li, Jinyan Liu, Dongli Yue, Fei Wang, Jieyao Li, Fangxia Guan, Yuming Xu, Bin Zhang, Yi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background aims: Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cell therapy represents a feasible immunotherapeutic option for treating malignancies. However, the number of anti-tumor lymphocytes cannot be easily obtained from the cancer patients with poor immunity status, and older patients cannot tolerate repeated collection of blood. Cord blood-derived CIK (CB-CIK) cells have shown efficacy in treating the patients with cancer in several clinical trials. This study was conducted to evaluate the biological characteristics and anti-tumor function of CB-CIK cells. Methods: The immunogenicity, chemokine receptors and proliferation of CB-CIK cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. The CIK cells on day 13 were treated with cisplatin and the anti-apoptosis capacity was analyzed. The function of CB-CIK cells against the human cancer was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Results: Compared with peripheral blood-derived CIK (PB-CIK) cells, CB-CIK cells demonstrated lower immunogenicity and increased proliferation rates. CB-CIK cells also had a higher percentage of main functional fraction CD3+CD56+. The anti-apoptosis ability of CB-CIK cells after treatment with cisplatin was higher than that of PB-CIK cells. Furthermore, CB-CIK cells were effective for secreting interleukin-2 and interferon-γ and a higher percentage of chemokine receptors CCR6 and CCR7. In addition, tumor growth was greatly inhibited by CB-CIK treatment in a nude mouse xenograft model. Conclusions: CB-CIK cells exhibit more efficient anti-tumor activity in in vitro analysis and in the preclinical model and may serve as a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-97
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Cord blood
  • Cytokine-induced killer cells
  • Peripheral blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Phenotypic characterization and anti-tumor effects of cytokine-induced killer cells derived from cord blood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this