, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 249-253

Cytokine-mediated antitumor effect of bacillus Calmette-Guérin on tumor cells in vitro

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Abstract

Intravesical instillation therapy of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a useful modality for recurrent superficial transitional-cell carcinoma (TCC) of the urinary bladder. The mechanism of BCG effect has not yet been well characterized. BCG was tested in vitro for cytokine-mediated antiproliferative activity against T24 and KK47 cells (cell lines established from human TCC of the urinary bladder), and ACHN cells (cell line established from human renal cell carcinoma) using a modified human tumor clonogenic assay. Continuous exposure of cells to BCG at concentrations of more than 5 μg/ml in the presence of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) consisting of a mixture of 5×104 monocytes/dish and 5×105 lymphocytes/dish, obtained from healthy donors, significantly inhibited colony formation of T24 and ACHN cells in comparison with growth inhibition in the absence of PBMC (P<0.05). Slightly inhibited colony formation was observed with KK47 cells under the same conditions. At the same time various cytokines were measured in supernatants when BCG and the same conditioned PBMC were co-cultured. Tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) were detected at markedly high levels at 24 h, and interferon γ (IFNγ) was detected at 120 h. IL-2 and macrophage-colony-stimulating factor were not detected. Neutralizing anti-TNFα monoclonal antibody significantly reduced the anti-proliferative activity of ACHN cells, and anti-IFNγ antibody reduced that of T24 cells. The results obtained suggest that cytokines mediated by BCG play an important role in the antitumor activity of BCG and that the sensitivity of bladder cancer cells to the cytokines induced by BCG may differ considerably.