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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 1984;107(3):157-63.

Analysis of metastatic spread and growth of tumor cells in mice with depressed natural killer activity by anti-asialo GM1 antibody or anticancer agents.


The mechanism of artificial and spontaneous metastases of tumor was analyzed in B16 melanoma cells and C57BL/6 mice by using anti-asialo GM1 antibody and anticancer agents. Single administrations of 500 micrograms anti-asialo GM1 antibody resulted in significantly decreased NK activity in spleen cells of C57BL/6 mice, lasting 10 days from the day following administration. Treatment with anti-asialo GM1 antibody never decreased the function of T lymphocytes measured by blastogenesis with phytohemagglutinin or T cell growth factor. The tumoricidal functions of activated macrophages but not of resident macrophages were decreased by in vivo treatment with anti-asialo GM1 antibody. The anti-asialo GM1 antibody was evaluated in terms of the enhancing effect on pulmonary metastases with regard to the timing of administration. Treatment with anti-asialo GM1 antibody 1 day before or on the day of tumor inoculation resulted in a substantial increase in the number of artificial pulmonary metastases. In the experimental system of spontaneous metastases, anti-asialo GM1 antibody most effectively increased the number of pulmonary metastases when administered 1-2 weeks before the removal of primary tumor, when the tumor cells are thought to be released into blood circulation from the primary site. In addition, accelerated growth of transplanted tumors at the primary site was observed in mice treated with anti-asialo GM1 antibody. These results strongly suggest that anti-asialo GM1 antibody enhances the incidence of in vivo tumor metastases and the growth of transplanted tumor mainly by suppressing the function of NK cells. The maximum effective dose (MED) of mitomycin C or its derivative (M-83) suppressed NK activity significantly, and pretreatment with these anticancer agents enhanced the growth of the artificial pulmonary and liver metastases. In contrast, the MED of cDDP showed no effect on the NK activity or the numbers of pulmonary and liver metastases. These results indicate that the depression of NK activity induced by chemotherapy results in the promotion of metastatic disease. From these studies it can be concluded that NK cells have a key role in the control of metastases of malignant disease, and that support of NK activity is very important for the prevention of metastases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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