Effects of tumor growth on host defenses.
Monocytes and macrophages play an important role in host defense against neoplasia. Studies from our and other laboratories have demonstrated that patients with a variety of cancers have a defect in monocyte chemotactic responses. Tumor-bearing mice are also inhibited in their ability to accumulate macrophages to inflammatory foci. We have shown that extracts prepared from murine tumors, as well as the plasma and urine of tumor-bearing mice, contain anti-inflammatory proteins which are antigenically and physicochemically related to the immunosuppressive retroviral envelope protein p15E. Similarly, proteins capable of inhibiting monocyte chemotactic responses are present in human cancerous effusions and can be specifically absorbed by monoclonal antibodies to p15E. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that human malignant and mitogen-transformed cells contain p15E-related antigens. These findings led us to propose a two stage model of tumorigenesis: the first stage involves neoplastic transformation of a cell while the second stage involves activation of a gene coding for a p15E-like protein which allows the transformed cell to escape immune surveillance and go on to become a tumor. Support for this model has come from recent studies which have identified within the human genome an endogenous retrovirus sequence whose envelope gene is partially homologous to a highly conserved region of p15E. Using a synthetic peptide, termed CKS-17, we have shown that this region may be responsible for many of the biological activities of p15E and is capable of suppressing lymphocyte and natural killer cell immune functions as well as those of monocytes and macrophages. Thus tumors may be capable of evading host defense mechanisms by activation of a normal gene related to the immunosuppressive retroviral protein p15E.
Cianciolo, GJ; Snyderman, R
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