The suppression of tumor-specific cell-mediated cytotoxicity by human immunoregulatory α-globulin (IRA), by a peptide fraction derived from IRA, and by IRA-like peptides from the serum of cancer patients was studied in a syngeneic murine tumor-host system. Splenic lymphocytes from tumor-immunized mice were cytotoxic to specific tumor cells in vitro as measured by the [125I]iododeoxyuridine release microcytotoxicity assay. However, this effect was significantly depressed if 1.25 to 5 mg of IRA per ml were added to the cultures. Pooled lyophilized normal human serum protein was inactive. IRA peptide and IRA-like peptide fractions from cancer patients were also highly suppressive of cell-mediated cytotoxicity at much lower concentrations (0.05 to 0.5 mg/ml). Control human serum peptide, which failed to inhibit the induction of hemolytic plaque-forming cells in sheep erythrocyte-injected mice, had no effect on cell-mediated cytotoxicity. IRA and IRA-like peptide fractions were not cytotoxic to the effector lymphocytes or to the target cells at the concentrations used.

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This work was supported by USPHS Grants CA-21644, CA-15848, CA-15129, CA-12209, and GM-10374.

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