D-E Hu, SOM Dyke, AM Moore, LL Thomsen, KM Brindle
The roles played by host-derived nitric oxide (NO) in the growth and subsequent immune rejection of a immunogenic murine lymphoma were investigated by growing the tumor in mice in which the gene for either inducible NO synthase (iNOS) or endothelial NOS (eNOS) had been ablated. This showed that NO from tumor-infiltrating host cells had no significant effect on either tumor growth or immune rejection, although measurements of tumor nitrite levels and protein nitration showed that there had been significant NO production in the rejected tumors, in both the eNOS and iNOS knockout mice. Inhibition of both tumor and host NOS activities, with an iNOS-selective inhibitor (1400W), a nonselective NOS inhibitor [Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME)], or scavenging NO with a ruthenium-based scavenger, significantly delayed tumor rejection, while having no appreciable effect on tumor growth. Incubation of tumor cells with medium taken from cultured splenocytes, that had been isolated from immunized animals and activated by incubating them with irradiated tumor cells, resulted in an increase in tumor cell NOS activity and an increase in tumor cell apoptosis, which could be inhibited using L-NAME. We propose that, during the immune rejection of this tumor model, there is induction of tumor NOS activity by cytokines secreted by activated lymphocytes within the tumor and that this results in increased levels of tumor NO that induce tumor cell apoptosis and facilitate immune rejection of the tumor.