The immunomodulatory effects of urine from patients with superficial bladder cancer receiving intravesical evans BCG therapy
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Bladder cancer cells were stimulated with urine obtained from patients with superficial bladder cancer who had received treatment using intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). The urine from the first 12 h following each of six BCG instillations was collected and examined for its biological effect. We evaluated effects that had previously been attributed to cytokines detected in the urine of such patients. The modulation of MHC class II antigen and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression were studied. Using neutralizing polyclonal antibodies to interferon γ and tumour factor α the relative contribution of these molecules to the effects investigated were determined. When cells were stimulated for up to 48 h with first-instillation urine, little effect was seen in any of the parameters investigated. Urine from the sixth instillation, however, proved to be a potent immunomodulatory agent, inducing MHC class II molecule and ICAM-1 expression. Urine from instillations two to five mediated increasing immunomodulatory effects. When sixth-instillation urine samples were treated with neutralizing antibodies to interferon γ prior to their addition to the bladder cancer cells, a marked and significant decrease in their potency was observed. Only in urine from one patient did any immunomodulatory capability remain after antibody treatment. Neutralizing antibodies to tumour necrosis factor α, however, failed to reduce the ability of any patient's urine to induce ICAM-1 expression. When both antibodies were used simultaneously no further decrease in potency was observed. These studies demonstrate for the first time the potential immunomodulatory and cytotoxic effects of urine produced by patients receiving intravesical BCG. Furthermore, in all samples tested, the major immunomodulatory component was shown to be interferon γ. Although tumour necrosis factor α is produced as a result of BCG therapy, this cytokine did not appear to contribute to the parameters investigated. namely the induction of HLA class II antigens, and cell-surface ICAM-1.
Key wordsBladder cancer ICAM-1 MHC class II BCG therapy Interferon γ
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