Depression of macrophage function by a factor produced by neoplasms: a merchanism for abrogation of immune surveillance.
The possibility that macrophages mediate surveillance against the development of neoplasms has been reciving increasing support. The acquisition, by neoplastic cells, of the capacity to subvert macrophage function may be an important mechanism by which they escape destruction by the host and become established tumors. Indeed, animals implanted with syngeneic neoplasms developed depressed macrophage migratory ability in vivo and chemotactic responsiveness in virto. It therefore seemed plausible that neoplasms might be capable of producing inhibitors of macrophage function. The present report describes the identification of such a low molecular weight (6,000 to 10,000), heat-stable inhibitor of murine macrophage accumulation in vivo and chemotaxis in vitro. The inhibitor of macrophages was present in four different murine neoplasms, but not present in normal liver, spleen, or inflammatory exudate cells and did not affect PMN chemotaxis in vitro. When given with low numbers of neoplastic cells, the inhibitor increased both the frequency of tumor development and rate of tumor growth. By producing inhibitors of macrophage function, neoplasms may escape initial host surveillance mechanisms.
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