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Eur Cytokine Netw. 1998 Mar;9(1):61-8.

Local release of interleukin-10 by transfected mouse adenocarcinoma cells exhibits pro- and anti-inflammatory activity and results in a delayed tumor rejection.

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Institute of Human Pathology and Social Medicine, University of Chieti, Italy.


Tumor cells engineered to release cytokines are a valuable tool for investigating biological activities elicited by local cytokines. The parental cells of a mouse mammary adenocarcinoma (TSA-pc) were transduced with the cDNA coding for mouse interleukin-10 (IL-10). In vitro, transduced TSA cells secrete about 200 ng of IL-10/10(5) seeded cells in 48 hours (TSA-IL-10). When injected subcutaneously into syngeneic BALB/c mice, TSA-IL-10 cells gave rise to a tumor that grew progressively during the first 7-10 days and then rapidly and completely regressed. To study the events associated with this growth and disappearance, histological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses of the tumor area were performed at progressive times after challenge. A slow, but progressive and massive recruitment of leukocytes (mainly macrophages and neutrophils) into the tumor was evident. Several CD8+, CD4+ lymphocytes and a few NK cells were present. Marked inhibition of neoangiogenesis was also observed. On day 9, the microvascular network in the growth area had almost vanished, while vascular damage was present in the surrounding stromal tissue. From day 4, down-modulation of VEGF expression in the tumor area and inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and IL-6 production by reactive leukocytes were evident. The few vessels present in the tumor area displayed poor expression of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), moderate expression of VCAM-1, and strong expression of ELAM-1, three molecules that result in adhesion of inflammatory cells to the endothelium. A few tumor-infiltrating macrophages were moderately stained with anti-iNOS antibodies. These findings suggest that the collapse of established TSA-IL-10 tumors is the result of the pro- and anti-inflammatory activity of IL-10, which: a) is a signal for the local recruitment of leukocytes; b) leads to vascular damage; c) suppresses cytokine production. The coexistence of both a direct stimulatory activity on endothelial cells and an anti-angiogenic activity is evidence of the ambivalence of the local effects of IL-10.

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