Acid tumor-derived suppressor factors (TDSFs, isoelectric pH <3.0) in extracts of murine fibrosarcomas and human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell lines induce normal murine spleen cells to inhibit delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) to the sensitizer dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB). We sought to determine if TDSF from normal and neoplastic human colon and rectum also inhibited normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) responses to mitogen and to alloantigens. Collagenase-DNase digests of five freshly isolated carcinomas and paired autologous normal tissues were subjected to preparative isoelectric focusing (pIEF) over a pH range of 2.5 to 9.5. Fractions with isoelectric pH <3.0 from three of the five tumors induced normal C3H/HeN spleen cells to inhibit DTH to DNCB. Acid fractions from three tumors and four normal tissues also significantly inhibited the PBMC proliferative response to mitogen and alloantigens. However, the ability of acid fractions to suppress lymphocyte proliferation did not correlate with the induction of suppression of DTH to DNCB. Incubation of human PBMC with acid proliferation inhibitors did not induce suppressor cells that would inhibit the subsequent proliferative response of fresh, autologous PBMC. The acid suppressant from colorectal carcinoma was sensitive to treatment with trypsin but not RNase or DNase, whereas murine TDSF is sensitive to RNase and resistant to treatment with trypsin. The suppressive moiety from one tumor had an apparent mass of 45 kDa by gel filtration chromatography, in contrast to murine TDSF that has a mass of more than 300 kDa. Thus, the acid inhibitor in digests of human colorectal carcinoma is distinct from the TDSF that induces suppressor cells for DTH to DNCB.
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