Stimulation of Tumor Necrosis Factor Release from Monocytic Cells by the A375 Human Melanoma via Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-stimulating Factor

Massimo Sabatini, Jeffery Chavez, Gregory R. Mundy, Lynda F. Bonewald

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29 Scopus citations


It has long been known that complex interactions occur between tumors and normal host immune cells. The human melanoma cell line A375 has been used previously as an indicator cell for tumor cell cytotoxicity mediated by monocytes. During other studies on this tumor cell line, we noted that the conditioned media harvested from A375 cultures induced both the human monocytoid cell line U937 and human blood monocytes to release the cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF). We characterized this tumor factor which induced TNF release by monocytic cells. Purification was performed using ammonium sulfate precipitation, ion exchange (DEAE) chromatography, gel filtration, and reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography. The factor copurified with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). The purified material caused the release of TNF by U937 cells and stimulated formation of granulocyte-macrophage colonies in methyl cellulose. TNF release by U937 cells in response to A375-conditioned medium was inhibited by neutralizing antibodies to GM-CSF. The TNF-inducing activity in A375-conditioned medium was completely removed by an anti-GM-CSF affinity column. Western blotting using antibodies to GM-CSF confirmed a single Mr 27,000 band in A375-conditioned medium. We found that recombinant human GM-CSF stimulated TNF production by the same cells as the tumor-conditioned medium. These data show that A375 human melanoma cells produce GM-CSF, which in turn causes TNF production by cells in the monocyte lineage. The combination of GM-CSF production by the tumor and TNF production by immune cells may influence not only tumor growth but also some of the paraneoplastic syndromes associated with malignancy such as hypercalcemia, cachexia and leukocytosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2673-2678
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1990
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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