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J Antibiot (Tokyo). 1988 Jul;41(7):959-65.

Antitumor and antimetastatic activity of an antibiotic, ascofuranone, and activation of phagocytes.

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Department of Agricultural Chemistry, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Ascofuranone demonstrated antitumor activity against FM3A murine mammary carcinoma, implanted in the peritoneal cavity of syngeneic mice, C3H/He. It was more effective by treatment prior to implantation than by that after implantation. Treatment with ascofuranone also increased splenic cytotoxicity and phagocytic activity of host animal cells. Moreover, ascofuranone induced inflammatory cells in the peritoneal cavity which are mainly composed of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophages. These cells are more potent in cytotoxicity against FM3A cells than with resident peritoneal cells. The antitumor activity of ascofuranone was suppressed by ip administration of silica, just prior to tumor implantation. These results suggest that the prophylactic antitumor activity of ascofuranone is expressed through the activation of phagocytes. Ascofuranone also suppressed pulmonary metastasis of B16 melanoma and Lewis lung carcinoma. Treatment after tumor implantation failed to suppress the metastasis. Single treatment of ascofuranone 4 days prior to implantation decreased the metastasis of Lewis lung carcinoma but not that of B16, whereas single treatment of ascofuranone 24 hours prior to the tumor implantation decreased the metastasis of B16 but not that of Lewis lung carcinoma.

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