Changes in the cytostatic and cytotoxic activity of macrophages from tumor-bearing (TBM) and control mice were studied in a murine model of malignant melanoma. Syngeneic macrophages from TBM were initially noncytotoxic, but became cytotoxic and achieved their maximum destructive ability after 14 days of tumor growth. With continued tumor growth these macrophages either lost or had reduced cytotoxic activity. In contrast, macrophages from the same melanoma-bearing animals were significantly cytostatic at an earlier stage of tumor growth, but with continued melanoma growth these macrophages were no more cytostatic than controls. Moreover, melanomas grew slowly during the time when macrophages were observed to be cytostatic but grew rapidly at those stages when macrophages had a reduced ability to inhibit melanoma DNA synthesis. When these effector cells became cytotoxic melanomas were growing rapidly and changes in cytotoxicity had little effect on tumor mass. Thus, macrophages do not completely suppress melanoma proliferation and, although exhibiting cytotoxicity they were relatively ineffective in controlling a large mass of tumor cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research