Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 177–182 | Cite as

Induction of tumor necrosis factor expression by a lectin fromViscum album

  • Daniela N. Männel
  • Hans Becker
  • Anita Gundt
  • Andreas Kist
  • Hartmut Franz
Original articles


A purified lectin (MLI) fromViscum album was used to test whether peripheral monocytes from human blood can be activated for the production of tumour necrosis factor (TNF). Cytotoxic activity was detected in the supernatant of MLI-stimulated monocyte cultures. This cytotoxic activity was completely inhibited by monoclonal antibodies to TNFα. Small amounts of soluble TNF protein were measured in a TNFα-specific enzyme-linked immunospecific assay system. Strong expression of TNFα mRNA was induced in human monocytes as well as in macrophage cultures from C3H/HeJ mice having a low response to endotoxin after 2 h of stimulation. Both chains of the MLI were found to induce TNF mRNA equally well in human monocytes. In macrophages of endotoxin-low-responder mice the toxic A chain was a better inducer of TNF mRNA than the galactose-specific lectin B chain. Thus, MLI has immunomodulating effects in activating monocytes/macrophages for inflammatory responses.

Key words

Tumour necrosis factor Viscum album Lectin 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela N. Männel
    • 1
  • Hans Becker
    • 2
  • Anita Gundt
    • 1
  • Andreas Kist
    • 1
  • Hartmut Franz
    • 3
  1. 1.Deutsches KrebsforschungszentrumInstitut für Immunologie und GenetikHeidelbergFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Pharmakognosie und Analytische PhytochemieUniversität des SaarlandesSaarbrückenFederal Republic of Germany
  3. 3.Staatliches Institut für Immunpräparate und NährmedizinBerlinFederal Republic of Germany

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