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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.82  suppl.2 Rio de Janeiro  1987 

Endogenous and exogenously-induced immunomodulation of tumour-host responsiveness

Richard J. Ablin1 

Janos Polgar2 

Maurice J. Gonder1 

SUNY, Health Sciences Center, Departmetn of Urology, Stony Brook, USA

University School of Medicine, Department of Clincal Chemistry, Debrecen, Hungary


In spite of the availability of multiple effector mechanisms of the immune system to combat tumour growth and metastases, their impairment frequently accompanies the appearance of cancer. Factors contributing to this impairment may be related to properties of the host and/or the tumour itself and may be with respect to their origin -endogenous or exogenour. Based on the unique biological behavior of prostate cancer (PCa), and its apparent escape from immune surveillance in the presence of tumour immuno genicity, continuing investigation of endogenous and exogenous factors thought to be relevant to its pathogenesis have been made. For this purpose further studies of the suggested role of human seminal plasma (SePl) and the synthetic oestrogen, diethylstiboestrol (DES), as representative endogenous and exogenous immunomodulatory factors (IMF) of tumour-host responsiveness, together with evaluation of human prostatic tissue extracts and leuprolide (the luteinizing-hormone-releasing-hormone proposed as an alternate to DES therapy) have been made by evaluating their effect on the lytic activity of natural killer (NK) cells. SePl and prostate extracts significantly suppressed NK cell lysis. Physicochemical studies suggest SePl and prostate IMF to be associated with high and low molecular weight macromolecules; and implicate the participation of transglutaminase and prostaglandins. Comparative study of therapeutic levels of DES vs. leuprolide on NK cell lysis demonstrated significant suppression by DES vs. a negligible effect of leuprolide. Metastases are highly prevalent in PCa, and contribute significantly to its morbidity and mortality. Further knowledge of the range of effects of endogenous and exogenous IMF on effector mechanisms of tumour-host responsiveness, to include suppression of NK cells, and elucidation of their nature, may contribute toward our understanding of the unique biological behavior of tumours of the prostate, in addition to improvement in their clinical management.


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