Heterogeneous susceptibility of human melanoma clones to monocyte cytotoxicity: Role of ICAM-1 defined by antibody blocking and gene transfer

Nives Jonjic, Saverio Alberti, Sergio Bernasconi, Giuseppe Peri, Petr Jílek, Andrea Anichini, Giorgio Parmiani, Alberto Mantovani

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Five clones derived from the same human malignant melanoma lesion were studied for their susceptibility to killing by human monocytes activated by exposure to Interferon (IFN)-γ and lipopolysaccharide. Melanoma clones were heterogeneous in their susceptibility to human monocyte cytotoxicity, with one clone (2/21) exhibiting extremely low levels of lysis. The different levels of susceptibility to monocyte cytotoxicity were not accounted for by susceptibility or resistance to monokines [tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6] because: (a) these effector molecules had little (TNF) or no (IL-1 and IL-6) cytolytic activity under these conditions; and (b) anti-TNF antibodies had marginal effects on cytotoxicity. Monocytes bound less to resistant than to susceptible melanoma cells. Monocyte-resistant 2/21 melanoma cells expressed substantially lower levels of ICAM-1 and VLA-4 than susceptible cells. Anti-CD18 and, to a lesser extent, anti-ICAM-1 mAb inhibited binding and cytotoxicity of human monocytes on malignant melanoma whereas anti-VLA-4 had no inhibitory action. Transfection of the ICAM-1 gene under the control of a constitutive promotor resulted in high levels of expression of ICAM-1 in 2/21 melanoma cells and, concomitantly, in augmented susceptibility to activated monocyte cytotoxicity. The augmented killing of ICAM-1-transfected 2/21 cells was inhibited by anti-ICAM-1 mAb. These results demonstrate that the CD18-ICAM-1 adhesion pathway can play an important role in the expression of human monocyte cytotoxicity on melanoma target cells and that heterogeneity in expression of ICAM-1 can underlie differences in susceptibility to tumoricidal activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2255-2260
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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