Antibodies to plasminogen activator inhibit human tumor metastasis

Cell. 1983 Dec;35(3 Pt 2):611-9. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(83)90093-4.


The human carcinoma HEp3 grows on the chorioallantoic membrane and metastasizes to the chicken embryo with kinetics that are quantitatively predictable. We have used this experimental system to test whether plasminogen activator produced by the tumor is required for metastasis. Rabbit antibodies were raised against human urinary urokinase; these cross-reacted with and blocked the catalytic activity of HEp3-PA but did not inhibit chicken PA. When administered intravenously to embryos that had received an inoculum of HEp3 cells, the anti-urokinase antibodies did not inhibit tumor growth at the site of primary inoculation on the chorioallantoic membrane, but they either prevented or strongly inhibited metastasis to the embryo lung. Antibody treatment delayed the onset of pulmonary metastasis, indicating that plasminogen activator is required during early stages of the process.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology*
  • Plasminogen Activators / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Plasminogen Activators / immunology*
  • Plasminogen Inactivators
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / immunology


  • Plasminogen Inactivators
  • Plasminogen Activators
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator