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Jpn J Cancer Res. 1991 Nov;82(11):1299-308.

Murine tumor cells metastasizing selectively in the liver: ability to produce hepatocyte-activating cytokines interleukin-1 and/or -6.

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Department of Microbiology, Tohoku University School of Dentistry, Sendai.


Increasing evidence suggests that an intimate correlation may exist between the production of a cytokine, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and the ability to metastasize spontaneously in the lungs in murine transplantable tumors. In the present study, we further examined the cytokine production by tumor cells with the ability to metastasize in the liver. Four out of 8 test tumors, which produced metastasis in the lungs but not in the liver, exhibited the ability to produce GM-CSF activity in culture. Three other tumors produced metastasis in the liver but not in the lungs. These tumor cells exhibited no ability to produce GM-CSF, but two of them expressed an interleukin-6 (IL-6) mRNA and also produced IL-6 activity in the culture fluids. One of the two IL-6-producing tumors and the remaining liver metastatic tumor produced interleukin-1 (IL-1) as revealed by bioassay and neutralization test. In the tumor cells producing pulmonary metastasis, neither IL-6 gene expression nor IL-1 production could be detected. The last test tumor, which produced no metastasis either in the lungs or liver, produced neither GM-CSF, IL-1 nor IL-6. Furthermore, injection of antisera reactive to recombinant murine IL-6 caused a marked decrease of the number of liver metastases of an IL-6-producing tumor, but not lung metastases of a GM-CSF-producing tumor, which could be markedly inhibited by injection of anti-recombinant murine GM-CSF sera. These results suggest the possibility that there may be a correlation between the cytokines produced by tumor cells and their organ specificity in spontaneous metastasis, and also indicate that these tumor models may provide a useful tool for studies on the role of cytokines in tumor metastasis.

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