Murine interleukin-4 displays potent anti-tumor activity in vivo

Cell. 1989 May 5;57(3):503-12. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(89)90925-2.


We have devised a sensitive means to assess the anti-tumor effect of cytokines that act via the mobilization of host-mediated defenses. This assay involves transfecting malignant cells to produce a specific cytokine (in this case, IL-4) and measuring the ability of transfectants to form tumors alone and when mixed with a variety of nontransfected tumor cells. In this way, we have identified a potent, non-cell autonomous, anti-tumor effect of IL-4 which is effective against a wide range of tumor cell types in vivo. The effect is reversed by anti-IL-4 antibody, correlates closely with levels of IL-4 production, and is evident in nu/nu mice. The anti-tumor effect seems to be mediated by an inflammatory infiltrate composed of eosinophils and macrophages.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interleukins / genetics
  • Interleukins / metabolism
  • Interleukins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Plasmacytoma / genetics
  • Plasmacytoma / metabolism*
  • Plasmacytoma / pathology
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antibodies
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Interleukins
  • Interleukin-4