Expression of cytokines in tumor cells provides a sensitive modality to analyze the consequences of local cytokines in vivo on tumor infiltrating cells and tumorigenicity. We have transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells with an interleukin 10 (IL-10) expression vector. CHO-IL10 cells although unaltered with respect to their in vitro growth lost tumorigenicity, both in nude and in SCID mice and in an IL-10 dose dependent manner. In addition, CHO-IL10 cells suppressed the growth of equal numbers of coinjected but not of contralaterally injected CHO cells. Immunohistology with anti-CR3/Mac-1 and anti-Mac-3 monoclonal antibodies revealed that CHO tumors were substantially infiltrated by macrophages. However, in CHO-IL10 tumors macrophages were virtually absent within the tumor tissue. Our results suggest that IL-10 indirectly suppresses tumor growth of certain tumors by inhibiting infiltration of macrophages which may provide tumor growth promoting activity.

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This work was supported by a grant from the Deutsche Krebshilfe, Mildred Scheel-Stiftung, e.V.

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