Fibronectin is an immunosuppressive substance associated with epithelial ovarian cancer.
BACKGROUND: Although the ascites of patients with ovarian cancer has been reported to contain immunosuppressive factors, the identity and source of this activity has not been determined. Previously, the authors showed that conditioned media from two of four epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines inhibits proliferation of mitogen-stimulated human lymphocytes. The physical characteristics of the inhibitory substance are unlike those of peptide growth factors but closely resemble those of fibronectin. METHODS AND RESULTS: In the current study, it was found that the two ovarian cancer cell lines that produce the inhibitory substance have more fibronectin on the cell surface and secrete significantly more immunoreactive fibronectin into their culture media than the other two ovarian cancer cell lines. In addition, the immunosuppressive activity was bound to a gelatin-Sepharose affinity column, known to bind fibronectin. Finally, in ascites from 20 patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, fibronectin levels correlated with the ability to inhibit proliferation of lectin-stimulated lymphocytes (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Fibronectin is produced by some ovarian cancer cell lines and acts to inhibit proliferation of mitogen-stimulated lymphocytes. Additional studies are needed to clarify the role of fibronectin in ovarian cancer.
Olt, G; Berchuck, A; Soisson, AP; Boyer, CM; Bast, RC
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