Inositol-phosphate-induced enhancement of natural killer cell activity correlates with tumor suppression

Carcinogenesis. 1989 Sep;10(9):1595-8. doi: 10.1093/carcin/10.9.1595.


In recent studies, we have demonstrated that inositol hexaphosphate (InsP6) inhibits experimental colon carcinogenesis. Since natural killer (NK) cells are involved in tumor cell destruction, we investigated the effect of InsP6 on murine NK cell activity. We show that; (i) 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH), a colon carcinogen, depresses NK activity; (ii) in vivo treatment of mice with InsP6 enhances baseline NK activity and reverses DMH-induced depressed NK activity with an inverse correlation (r = -0.9811) with tumor incidence, (iii) short-term in vitro treatment of spleen cells and NK-enriched fraction with InsP6 also enhances NK cytotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner, (iv) inositol potentiates the action of InsP6. Our data suggest yet another important role of inositol phosphates in the regulation of cellular activity.

MeSH terms

  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine
  • Animals
  • Carcinogens / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / drug effects*
  • Dimethylhydrazines / pharmacology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Male
  • Methylhydrazines / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control
  • Phytic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Reference Values
  • Spleen / immunology


  • Carcinogens
  • Dimethylhydrazines
  • Methylhydrazines
  • Phytic Acid
  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine