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Modulation of the immunosuppressive effects of splenic macrophages in Fischer rats bearing adenocarcinoma 13762

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The nature of spleen cells in Fischer rats bearing a large size (>1 cm diameter) mammary adenocarcinoma 13762A (MAC) which block the immunostimulating capacities of MTP2 (a synthetic immunomodulator) and suppress proliferation in vitro of splenic T and B lymphocytes by their respective mitogens was investigated. Splenic macrophages were recognized as the suppressor cells by (a) restoration of mitogenic responses by depletion of macrophages from spleen cell suspensions and (b) continued suppressor activity in spleen cell suspensions of tumor bearers devoid of viable T lymphocytes. Macrophage contact with T lymphocytes was required for the inhibition of T lymphocyte proliferation by concanavalin A as shown by (a) the absence of suppressor activity in supernatants derived from cultured suppressor macrophages, (b) lowering of the suppressor activity of intact macrophages after treatment with neuraminidase, (c) lowering of the suppressor activity of macrophages by addition of red cells to spleen cultures of tumor bearers indicating red cell interference with macrophage-T cell interaction and (d) lack of inhibiting action of suppressor macrophages on allogenic T lymphocyte proliferation showing macrophage T cell recognition for suppression.

Animals bearing a large size tumor exhibited spleen hypertrophy and an increase in macrophage:lymphocyte ratio and a decrease in red cell:lymphocyte ratio. Splenic macrophages did not appear to be implicated in blocking antitumor immunity induction since (a) suppressor macrophages were absent in spleens during the inductive phase of the immune response and (b) MAC implanted in allogenic Wistar rats grew to about 2 cm diameter, induced splenic suppressor macrophages but the tumor was later rejected by the animals. Collectively the results suggest that suppressor macrophages are the result of increasing tumor volume rather than its cause.

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Correspondence to Vijai N. Nigam.

Additional information

This study was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute of Canada

Abbreviations used: Con A, Concanavalin A; LPS, lipopolysaccharide; PHA, phytohemagglutinin; MTP, maltose tetrapalmitate; MAC, mammary adenocarcinoma 13762; RPMI, Roswell Park Memorial Institute; TBR, tumor bearing rat; RBC, red blood cell

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Bonaventure, J., Nigam, V.N. & Brailovsky, C.A. Modulation of the immunosuppressive effects of splenic macrophages in Fischer rats bearing adenocarcinoma 13762. Cancer Immunol Immunother 20, 167–174 (1985).

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  • Lymphocyte Proliferation
  • Suppressor Activity
  • Tumor Bearer
  • Lymphocyte Ratio
  • Splenic Macrophage