Ammonium Trichloro(dioxoethylene-o,o′)tellurate (AS101) Sensitizes Tumors to Chemotherapy by Inhibiting the Tumor Interleukin 10 Autocrine Loop

Benjamin Sredni, Merav Weil, Gennadi Khomenok, Ilana Lebenthal, Seagal Teitz, Yael Mardor, Zvi Ram, Arie Orenstein, Amir Kershenovich, Shalom Michowiz, Yan I. Cohen, Zvi H. Rappaport, Ilya Freidkin, Michael Albeck, Dan L. Longo, Yona Kalechman

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90 Scopus citations


Cancer cells of different solid and hematopoietic tumors express growth factors in respective stages of tumor progression, which by autocrine and paracrine effects enable them to grow autonomously. Here we show that the murine B16 melanoma cell line and two human primary cultures of stomach adenocarcinoma and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) constitutively secrete interleukin (IL)-10 in an autocrine/paracrine manner. This cytokine is essential for tumor cell proliferation because its neutralization decreases clonogenicity of malignant cells, whereas addition of recombinant IL-10 increases cell proliferation. The immunomodulator ammonium trichloro(dioxoethylene-o, o′)tellurate (AS101) decreased cell proliferation by inhibiting IL-10. This activity was abrogated by exogenous addition of recombinant IL-10. IL-10 inhibition by AS101 results in dephosphorylation of Stat3, followed by reduced expression of Bcl-2. Moreover, these activities of AS101 are associated with sensitization of tumor cells to chemotherapeutic drugs, resulting in their increased apoptosis. More importantly, AS101 sensitizes the human aggressive GBM tumor to paclitaxel both in vitro and in vivo by virtue of IL-10 inhibition. AS101 sensitizes GBM cells to paclitaxel at concentrations that do not affect tumor cells. This sensitization can also be obtained by transfection of GBM cells with IL-10 antisense oligonucleotides. Sensitization of GBM tumors to paclitaxel (Taxol) in vivo was obtained by either AS101 or by implantation of antisense IL-10-transfected cells. The results indicate that the IL-10 autocrine/ paracrine loop plays an important role in the resistance of certain tumors to chemotherapeutic drugs. Therefore, anti-IL-10 treatment modalities with compounds such as AS101, combined with chemotherapy, may be effective in the treatment of certain malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1843-1852
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2004


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