Modulation of Immune Response and Tumor Development in Tumor-bearing Mice Treated by the Thymic Factor Thymostimulin

Abraham S. Klein, Ronit Lang, Ilana Eshel, Yedida Sharabi, Jacob Shoham

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Thymostimulin (TS), a partially purified thymic factor, has a significant impact on tumor development in CS7B1/6 mice inoculated with Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL) cells, as judged by its effect on time of tumor appearance after tumor cell transplantation. In a previous study, we determined the conditions under which survival rate of the tumor-bearing mice can be significantly increased by TS treatment. In the study communicated here we analyzed host defense mechanisms that are modified by TS treatment in the tumor-bearing mice. In general, immune parameters that were increased or stimulated by the presence of the tumor were further increased in the TS-treated animals (number of lymphoid spleen cells, their response in mixed lymphocyte tumor cultures, their natural killer cell activity, and their ability to produce colony-stimulating factor), or reached earlier maximum levels (spontaneous [3H]thymidine incorporation, a reflection of in vivo spleen cell activation). Responses which reflect tumor-induced immunosuppression (proliferative response induced by phytohemagglutinin or concanavalin A stimulation) were restored to normal level by TS. Specific tumor-related reactions (specific cell-mediated cytotoxicity) were preserved in the TS-treated animals. The wide spectrum of TS effects had, nevertheless, certain elements of selectivity; e.g. colony-stimulating factor, but no interferon production is enhanced by TS in the tumor-bearing mice in diametric contrast to TS effect in Mengo virus-infected mice. The spectrum of TS effects was also dependent on the type of tumor cell used. The results indicate that the significant effect of TS on 3LL tumor development in mice is associated with a strong, multifaceted effect of TS on the immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3351-3356
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1987


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