Cells secreting tumour necrosis factor show enhanced metastasis in nude mice

Eur J Cancer. 1990;26(10):1031-4. doi: 10.1016/0277-5379(90)90044-t.


A tumour cell may acquire the ability to invade and metastasise via heritable changes in its genome and/or changes in the local environment. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells transfected with the gene for human TNF (CHO/TNF cells) showed a greatly enhanced ability to invade peritoneal surfaces and metastasise in nude mice compared with cells transfected by the vector alone. In situ hybridisation with a riboprobe for human TNF showed that the CHO/TNF cells were actively transcribing this cytokine after in vivo injection. Neutralising antibodies to human TNF, both whole IgG and F(ab)2 fragments, abrogated the enhanced metastatic activity of the TNF-secreting cells. Thus transfection of a cytokine/growth-factor gene can confer a metastatic phenotype on the recipient cell.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clone Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Ovary / cytology
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha