Cytokine production of lung cancer cell lines: Correlation between their production and the inflammatory/immunological responses both in vivo and in vitro

Cancer Sci. 2007 Jul;98(7):1048-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2007.00507.x. Epub 2007 May 20.


Cytokines produced by tumor cells may have various effects on antitumor immune responses and tumor growth. In the present study, the cytokine production of 31 lung cancer cell lines was evaluated, while any correlation with the histological type, the induction of tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in vitro, and angiogenesis and the infiltration of inflammatory cells in tumor tissues were also examined. Production of interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), granulocyte colony stimulating factor, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the culture supernatant was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Each cytokine was produced in a substantial number of the tumor cell lines. In particular, IL-6, IL-8, TGF-beta and VEGF were produced in 18 (55%), 29 (94%), 31 (100%) and 28 (90%) of 31 cell lines, respectively. However, neither IL-4 nor TNF-alpha was produced at all by any tumor cell line. TGF-beta production was significantly higher in adenocarcinoma than in squamous cell carcinoma (P = 0.03). Immunohistochemical staining revealed the magnitude of macrophage infiltration, and angiogenesis in surgically resected tumor tissue specimens correlated well with GM-CSF and IL-8 production from the corresponding cell lines. Among six lung cancer cell lines, CTL were induced in the three lung cancer cell lines that produced a lower amount of TGF-beta (<100 pg/mL). These findings suggested that TGF-beta produced by tumor cells could inhibit the induction of CTL in vitro. The present results suggest that the production of various cytokines from tumor cells might exert various paracrine effects both in vivo and in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / physiopathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / physiopathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / physiopathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / physiopathology*


  • Cytokines