The role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the antitumor effect of intrapleural injection of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota in mice
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The involvement of several cytokines in the antitumor effect induced by intrapleural (i.pl.) injection of heat-killed cells of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LC 9018) in mice was investigated. Injection of LC 9018 i.pl. into Meth A fibrosarcoma (Meth A)-bearing mice not only significantly prolonged the survival of the mice, but also effectively inhibited the accumulation of malignant pleural fluid in the thoracic cavity. In the thoracic cavity of tumor-bearing mice treated with LC 9018, we observed large amounts of several cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1β, interferon (IFN)-γ, IL-12 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Both anti-IFN-γ and anti-IL-12 monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments partially diminished the antitumor activity of LC 9018 in vivo, while the treatment of anti-IL-1β mAb did not influence the survival of the mice. However, anti-TNF-α mAb treatment completely abolished the antitumor effect of LC 9018 in vivo, suggesting that in this model LC 9018 has a survival-prolonging effect involving certain cytokines. Moreover, i.pl. injection of mouse recombinant TNF-α into Meth A-bearing mice pretreated with anti-TNF-α mAb partially restored the survival-enhancing effect of LC 9018. These results led us to conclude that TNF-α induced by i.pl. injection of LC 9018 plays an important role in the antitumor effect of LC 9018 in vivo.
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