Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1998; 22(2):176-184.

Resistance of Spontaneously Transformed Syrian Hamster Embryo Cells and Their Malignant Variants to Cytotoxic Activity of Recombinant Tumor Necrosis Factor-Α

Eugene A Volpe, MD, PhD

Department of Oncology, Institute of Experimental end Clinical Medicine, Riga, Latvia; and Laboratory of Anti-Tumor Immunity, Institute of Carcinogenesis, NN Blokhin Center for Cancer Research, Moscow, Russia

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Eugene A. Volpe, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Oncology, Institute for Experimental and Clinical Medicine 4 Ojar Vacicus St., Riga Lv-1004, Latvia.

ABSTRACT: To study the possible role of the host macrophages in the selection of tumor cells and tumor progression, a series of Syrian hamster tumor cell lines all originating from a single spontaneously transformed Syrian hamster embryo cell linc (STHE strain) have been established. These STHE tumor cell variants, selected either in vitro with resident and lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages or in vivo, differ in tumorigenic and metastatic activity. The selected malignant STHE cells become resistant to cytotoxic activity of activated peritoneal macrophages and of exogenous hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Since activated macrophages are a known source for both cytotoxic agents H2O2 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), the purpose of the present study was to define the sensitivity or the STHE tumor cell lines to a direct cytotoxic activity mediated by recombinant TNF-alpha in an attempt to understand the role of the cytokine in in vitro selection of a malignant STHE cells by activated macrophages. The spontaneously transformed STHE cells (selected in vivo and in vitro) as well as the hamster embryo cells transformed in vitro by a tumorigenic Rous sarcoma virus (Schmidt-Ruppin strain) were used as targets. TNF-alpha-sensitive mouse L929 cells were included in the study as a positive control. Sensitivity of acrinomycin D-pretreated target cells studied for cytotoxic activity of a recombinant TNF-alpha was examined over 21 h with a crystal violet dye assay. It was found that, in contrast to L929 Cells, the spontaneously transformed STHE cells as well as tumorigenic Rous sarcoma virus hamster embryo transformants, were all significantly resistant to the TNF-alpha-mediated cytolysis. This indicates that TNF-alpha is not the single factor responsible in in vitro selection of malignant STHE cell variants by activated macrophages. It appears that H2O2 is involved in the selection of the hamster macrophage-resistant STHE tumor cells.

KEY WORDS: hydrogen peroxide, macrophages, natural resistance, selection, spontaneously- and Rous sarcoma virus-transformed cells, tumor progression.

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