Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Host-Tumor Interaction in Ovarian Cancer Spontaneous Release of Tumor Necrosis Factor and Interleukin-1 Inhibitors by Purified Cell Populations from Human Ovarian Carcinoma in Vitro


The biological activity of tumor necrosis factor (TNF alpha/beta) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) can be blocked by soluble, naturally occurring molecules--TNF alpha/beta binding proteins (BP-55 and BP-75), derived from the extracellular portion of the 55- and 75-kDa TNF alpha/beta membrane receptors, and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), respectively. We examined the levels of these cytokines and their inhibitors in cell-free ascites of 18 patients with advanced ovarian carcinoma by ELISA. Levels of both TNF BP and IL-1ra dramatically exceeded those of TNF and IL-1; thus, it is unlikely that these cytokines are active in ascites from patients with this disease. We then elutriated solid tumor samples from three additional patients, yielding pure populations of tumor cells, macrophages, and lymphocytes. Cells were cultured for up to 48 hr and the spontaneous production of TNF, IL-1, and their inhibitors was measured by ELISA. Tumor cells and macrophages both released inhibitors for TNF and IL-1. Tumor cells released IL-1ra and BP-55, while macrophages released IL-1ra and BP-75. Kinetic studies showed that both tumor cells and macrophages produced an initial burst of TNF alpha and IL-1 beta which was overtaken within 48 hr by a sustained production of TNF BP and IL-1ra. Lymphocytes released no TNF alpha or TNF beta, which alone suggests that tumor associated lymphocytes are locally quiescent in vivo. TNF and IL-1 inhibitors originate from tumor cells and tumor associated macrophages and probably block TNF and IL-1 activity locally and regionally in ovarian carcinoma patients. Whether this phenomenon contributes to the pathogenesis of this disease remains to be determined.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View