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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Apr 1;90(7):2774-8.

Mechanisms of rejection induced by tumor cell-targeted gene transfer of interleukin 2, interleukin 4, interleukin 7, tumor necrosis factor, or interferon gamma.

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  • 1Institute of Immunology, Universit√§tsklinikum Steglitz, Freie Universit√§t Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany.


Interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-7, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), or interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) has been shown to be able to induce tumor rejection if produced locally by the tumor cells after gene transfer. To analyze whether the cellular rejection mechanisms are different or redundant we have expressed the cytokines in the same tumor cell line (J558L). Cell depletion experiments revealed that all cytokines required CD8+ T cells for complete long-term tumor eradication, although effective but transient host-dependent tumor suppression was also observed in the complete absence of CD8+ T cells. The transient tumor suppression induced by IL-2, IL-4, TNF, or IFN-gamma was also operative in nude and severe combined immunodeficient mice, whereas only tumor suppression induced by IL-7 was dependent on the presence of CD4+ T cells and was not evident in nude mice. The T-cell-independent effector arm of IL-2 and IFN-gamma but not IL-4 and TNF was mediated in part by natural killer cells. The transience of tumor suppression in the absence of T cells reflected loss of cytokine production in the case of TNF, IL-2, and IL-4 but not IFN-gamma. Immunohistologic analysis revealed all cytokine-producing tumors to be heavily infiltrated by macrophages. IL-4 and IL-7 tumors additionally contained eosinophils. The infiltration by T cells did not necessarily reflect their contribution to tumor rejection. Thus, the different cytokines activate heterogeneous transient tumor-suppressive mechanisms but always require CD8+ T cells for complete tumor rejection.

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