Stimulation of ovarian tumor cell proliferation with monocyte products including interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Mar;166(3):997-1007. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(92)91379-o.


Objective: We investigated whether monocyte-derived factors could stimulate the growth of ovarian cancer cells.

Study design: Human peripheral blood monocytes or human monocyte-like cell lines THP-1 and U-937 were cultured with or without macrophage colony-stimulating factor, lipopolysaccharide, or phorbol myristate acetate. Culture supernatants or recombinant cytokines were assayed for growth stimulation of ovarian cancer cell lines by tritium-thymidine incorporation and direct cell counts followed by statistical analysis with Student t test.

Results: Conditioned medium from peripheral blood monocytes or from THP-1 or U-937 cells stimulated ovarian cancer cell growth. Interleukin-1 alpha, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-6 also stimulated ovarian cancer cell growth, whereas macrophage, granulocyte, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor did not. Concentrations of tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1, and interleukin-6 in conditioned medium could not account for all the growth stimulation, and activity remained after neutralization of tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1, and interleukin-6 with antibodies.

Conclusions: Interleukin-1, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor, and additional monocyte factor(s) could provide paracrine growth stimulation when monocytes are attracted to ovarian cancers that produce macrophage colony-stimulating factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Culture Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology*


  • Culture Media
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate