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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1990;31(2):99-106.

Parallel antitumor, granuloma-forming and tumor-necrosis-factor-priming activities of mycoloyl glycolipids from Nocardia rubra that differ in carbohydrate moiety: structure-activity relationships.

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Department of Bacteriology, Osaka City University Medical School, Japan.


Multiple intravenous injections (30 micrograms, ten times) in ICR mice of trehalose dimycolate and glucose monomycolate from Nocardia rubra, containing C36-48 mycolic acids, showed a prominent antitumor effect on a subcutaneously implanted sarcoma-180, an allogeneic sarcoma of mice with a significant granuloma formation in lungs, spleen and liver. On the other hand, mycoloyl glycolipids other than glucose monomycolate and trehalose dimycolate, such as mannose or fructose mycolate, showed no significant activity for tumor regression or granuloma formation in mice. Trehalose dimycolate and glucose monomycolate from N. rubra, and glucose monomycolate with C56-60 mycolic acids from Rhodococcus terrae also showed a distinctive priming activity for tumor necrosis factor (TNF), when lipopolysaccharide from Escherichia coli was administered as an eliciting agent. The TNF activity in the sera of mice was abrogated almost completely by anti-(murine TNF alpha) antibody with protein-A-agarose. Again in contrast, mannose and fructose mycolate from N. rubra and glucose monomycolate with C30-34 mycolic acids from Rhodococcus equi did not show such activities in mice. Meth-A, a syngeneic fibrosarcoma of BALB/c mice, was less sensitive to administration of glycolipids than sarcoma-180. These results indicated that the existence of a glucose or trehalose molecule was necessary for the expression of immunomodifying activities among various mycoloyl glycolipids differing in carbohydrate structure. However, since the administration of lipopolysaccharide was essentially required as an eliciting agent for the induction of TNF, while no eliciting agent was required for the antitumor activities, TNF does not seem to contribute directly to the antitumor activities of mycoloyl glycolipids in our systems. There was, however, a parallel structure-activity relationship among granuloma-forming, antitumor and TNF-priming activities, indicating that the structures of both the carbohydrate moiety and the mycoloyl residues influenced an initial step, such as macrophage activation, commonly and profoundly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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