EL-4 metastases in spleen and bone marrow suppress the NK activity generated in these organs.
The relationship between metastatic cells in the spleen and bone marrow of tumor-bearing mice and the NK activity generated in vitro by cells obtained from these organs was investigated. EL-4 lymphoma and B16 melanoma cells injected intraperitoneally into syngeneic mice (10(6) cells/animal) killed the recipients in 16 days. These tumors had a different metastatic profile: EL-4 metastasized to the spleen and bone marrow while B16 did not. The number of metastatic cells was evaluated by plating spleen or bone-marrow cells of tumor-bearing mice in agarose cultures; in parallel, the ability of spleen and bone-marrow cells to generate NK activity in vitro was assessed. The presence of 10(5) EL-4 cells/10(6) spleen or bone-marrow cells correlated with a total lack of NK activity in these organs; in contrast, no decrease in NK activity was evident in the spleen or bone marrow of B16-bearing mice. The removal of metastatic EL-4 cells (by antibody and complement) from the spleen or bone marrow did not rescue the NK activity. The lack of NK activity in spleen and bone marrow colonized by metastatic cells was not due to induction of a suppressor cell in the host. Metastatic EL-4 cells appeared to have a direct and irreversible suppressive effect on the generation of NK activity by spleen or bone marrow. A possible cause-effect relationship between metastatic colonization of lymphoid organs and suppression of local NK activity is considered.
Sarzotti, M; Baron, S; Klimpel, GR
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