Potent in situ activation of murine lung macrophages and therapy of melanoma metastases by systemic administration of liposomes containing muramyltripeptide phosphatidylethanolamine and interferon gamma

Invasion Metastasis. 1989;9(2):75-88.


Mouse alveolar macrophages (AM) were rendered tumoricidal after the intravenous administration of liposomes containing muramyl tripeptide phosphatidylethanolamine (MTP-PE), a lipophilic derivative of muramyl dipeptide. The addition of recombinant mouse interferon gamma (r-IFN-gamma) to the liposomes significantly potentiated this effect. This potentiation was also observed in therapeutic studies of mice bearing well-established spontaneous lung melanoma metastases. Multiple intravenous injections of liposomes containing both MTP-PE and r-IFN-gamma resulted in 70% survival in one group treated for small lung metastases and 50% in another group treated for large lung metastases. These data demonstrate that the presentation of r-IFN-gamma and MTP-PE in liposomes is more efficient in inducing the destruction of metastases than either agent administered alone.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylmuramyl-Alanyl-Isoglutamine / administration & dosage
  • Acetylmuramyl-Alanyl-Isoglutamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Animals
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / drug effects
  • Drug Carriers
  • Interferon-gamma / administration & dosage*
  • Liposomes
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Macrophage Activation / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Melanoma, Experimental / secondary
  • Melanoma, Experimental / therapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines / administration & dosage*
  • Recombinant Proteins


  • Drug Carriers
  • Liposomes
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • mifamurtide
  • Acetylmuramyl-Alanyl-Isoglutamine
  • Interferon-gamma