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Immunologic enhancement of experimental metastasis in the rat

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Using a series of immunologically cross-reactive metastatic tumor variants, we demonstrate that serum from animals bearing pulmonary tumor colonies possesses enhancing properties in the experimental metastasis (lung colony) assay. Enhancement is produced by chronic serum administration and promotes the growth of tumor cells arrested in the lungs which would not otherwise proliferate to form grossly detectable lung nodules. Tumor-bearer serum from animals with lung colonies derived from the most highly metastatic variant examined is shown to possess enhancing properties in both BD-IX(H-1d) and BD-IV(H-1d) rat strains, while tumor-bearer serum from animals with lung colonies derived from the less metastatic parent tumor cell line possesses enhancing properties in the BD-IX rat strain only. Removal of immunoglobulin from enhancing serum by affinity column chromatography simultaneously removes the enhancing factor(s), and enhancing activity correlates with the presence of increased levels of Clq-binding immune complexes in the serum. Serum levels of immune complexes are shown to be more elevated in serum from animals bearing lung colonies derived from the most highly metastatic variant. The enhancing moieties are shown to bind to concanavalin A, but not to staphylococcal protein A, and the active fraction elutes from concanavalin A-Sepharose with α-methyl-mannoside. Consideration of immunoprecipitation studies on whole and fractionated enhancing sera, along with studies on affinity purified isotype fractions reveals that the activity resides with antibodies of IgG2b subclass.

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Author information

Correspondence to Jean R. Starkey.

Additional information

Abbreviations used: NK, natural killer cell; CIC, circulating immune complex; RhC, rheumatoid-Clq protein complex; Ig, immunoglobulin

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Starkey, J.R., Ristow, S.S., McDonald, T.L. et al. Immunologic enhancement of experimental metastasis in the rat. Cancer Immunol Immunother 17, 42–50 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00205496

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  • Concanavalin
  • Lung Nodule
  • Experimental Metastasis
  • Fraction Elute
  • Tumor Variant