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Evidence of suppressor cell activity in spleens of mice bearing primary tumors induced by Moloney sarcoma virus

, : Evidence of suppressor cell activity in spleens of mice bearing primary tumors induced by Moloney sarcoma virus. Journal of Experimental Medicine 139(6): 1473-1487

Spleens from Moloney sarcoma virus (MSV) tumor-bearing C57BL/6N mice contained four times the normal number of mononuclear cells and displayed a markedly elevated "spontaneous" (mitogen-independent) DNA synthesis on a per cell basis. The number of macrophages were increased three-fold while there was a slight reduction in the percentage of T lymphocytes. The phytohemagglutinin (PHA) response on a per cell basis of spleens from tumor-bearing mice was decreased about 90% when compared with normal control mice. The primary in vitro immune response to sheep red blood cells was also suppressed to levels of less than 10% of normals. The PHA response could be restored by purification of MSV spleen cells by rayon adherence columns and by removal of phagocytic cells by an iron/magnet technique. The activity of suppressor cells in MSV spleens was demonstrated in mixtures with syngeneic normal spleen cells where a marked impairment of the PHA response was observed. Spleen cells from tumor-free nude mice and normal spleen cells treated by anti-theta serum plus guinea pig complement (C'), both totally unreactive to PHA, had no such effect. The inhibitor cell in MSV spleens was shown to be insensitive to inactivation by anti-theta plus C', but could be removed by the adherence columns and the iron/magnet technique. These data suggest that this suppressor cell is a cell of the monocyte/macrophage series. Suggestive evidence was also presented that the suppressor cells belong to a proliferating population in MSV spleens. Similar suppressor cells have been previously demonstrated in spleens of mice during a variety of immune responses. Our data show, that a tumor, although stimulating the immune system, nevertheless may be suppressive on certain immune functions through the activation of suppressor cells.

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Accession: 005411753

PMID: 4598016

DOI: 10.1084/jem.139.6.1473

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