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In vivo immunostimulation by tuftsin


Tuftsin, a physiological basic tetrapeptide known for its capacity to stimulate the phagocytic activity of macrophages and polymorphonuclear leucocytes, was examined for its immunostimulating properties when injected systemically into mice.

Tuftsin was able to potentiate the antibody response to a thymus-dependent antigen (TNP-KLH) when injected 3, 7 or 10 days before the antigen. The response to the same hapten coupled to a thymus-independent carrier (LPS) was stimulated on day 1 and 3 but slightly depressed on day 7.

The peptide rendered macrophages highly cytostatic for tumor cells but the activation process required 7 days to develop. In contrast, enhancement of antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxic (ADCC) activity of spleen cells was observed throughout the period of observation (14 days).

Tuftsin did not induce nonspecific suppressor cells as the response of normal spleen cells to mitogens in vitro was not depressed when cultivated in the presence of tuftsin-treated spleen cells.

These observations suggest that tuftsin acts as an immunostimulant which may be useful in cancer immunotherapy.

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This work was supported by grants from DGRST (no 78.7.2651) and from INSERM (contract libre no

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Florentin, I., Bruley-Rosset, M., Kiger, N. et al. In vivo immunostimulation by tuftsin. Cancer Immunol Immunother 5, 211–216 (1978).

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  • Peptide
  • Tumor Cell
  • Cancer Research
  • Antibody Response
  • Activation Process