IgG-recognizing shed tumor-associated antigens can promote tumor invasion and metastasis

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2001 Sep;50(7):361-72. doi: 10.1007/s002620100206.


Tumors secreting glycoproteins that act as tumor-associated antigens have been described as highly invasive and metastatic. In this study, the consequences of the humoral immune response (HIR) against these antigens were investigated. Using an in vitro model of tumor cell invasion, results indicated that the invasiveness of tumor cells secreting antigenic secreted/shed tumor glycoproteins (STGP) increases in the presence of specific anti-STGP IgG, polymorphonuclear cells and monocytes. This in vitro model showed that the coincidental presence in the matrix of both STGP and specific anti-STGP IgG increases the local release of IL-1beta, IL-6 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by stromal cells, but not by tumor cells. Using an in vivo model, the experiments show that immune-competent mice develop an anti-tumor HIR with anti-STGP IgG production. In this model, tumor growth was increased in parallel with the serum concentration of specific anti-STGP IgG. In athymic nude (nu/nu)-beige mice the same trend was observed, suggesting a T-cell-independent tumor-promoting effect induced by anti-STGP IgG. Tumor histology showed intense infiltration of IgG-positive plasma cells and lymphocytes. A severe combined immunodeficient-beige mouse-based in vivo model of tumors, experimentally infiltrated with monoclonal IgG plasmocytoma cells, showed that only specific anti-STGP-IgG-secreting cells could exacerbate tumor invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis. These results suggest that tumors shedding/secreting antigenic STGP can induce a host IgG immune response that can promote invasion and metastasis by inducing tumor infiltrating stromal cells to release proinflammatory cytokines and VEGF.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / toxicity*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate / immunology*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / biosynthesis
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin G / toxicity*
  • Lymphokines / biosynthesis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, SCID
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / etiology
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate
  • Cytokines
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Lymphokines
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • sialosyl-Tn antigen