We have previously shown that soluble extracts from human colonic carcinoma (SCE) were potent inhibitors of the PHA-induced DNA synthesis of normal allogeneic peripheral lymphocytes. From the present study, SCE appeared to have a broad and nonspecific range of activity. The SCE-suppressive effect was observed whatever the lymphoid organ or the animal species used as a source of stimulated lymphocytes. Moreover, we always obtained a complete inhibition of the lymphoproliferative response to all tested mitogens including PHA, Con A, PWM, and, for animal lymphocytes, LPS. In addition to the suppressive activity on lymphocytes, SCE also inhibited proliferation of cultured human CCL6 embryonic intestine cells and HT29 colonic carcinoma cells, and of cultured rat fibrosarcoma cells.

Soluble extracts from HT29 cells (SCCE) were able to mimic the nonspecific suppressive and cytostatic activities of SCE. The suppressive activity was also found in extracts from hepatic metastases (SHME) of a primary colonic tumor. In contrast, soluble extracts from normal liver or nonmalignant colonic mucosa did not interfere with cell proliferation.

These data suggest that both SCE and SCCE contain molecular components(s) that can inhibit a wide variety of proliferating cells, including stimulated lymphocytes.

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