Treating tumor-bearing mice with vitamin D3 diminishes tumor-induced myelopoiesis and associated immunosuppression, and reduces tumor metastasis and recurrence

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1995 Jul;41(1):37-45. doi: 10.1007/BF01788958.


Metastatic Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC-LN7) tumors that secrete granulocyte/macrophage-colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) stimulate myelopoiesis and induce bone marrow-derived immunosuppressor cells that are homologous to granulocyte/macrophage progenitor cells. In vitro treatment of the LLC-LN7 cells with 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 reduced tumor cell production of suppressor-inducing activity, although suppressor-inducing activity could be restored by reconstituting the tumor supernatants with recombinant GM-CSF. Treatment of mice having LLC-LN7 tumors with vitamin D3 reduced tumor production of GM-CSF and the frequency of myeloid progenitor cells. This was associated with a reduction in immunosuppressor activity and an increase in T cell function. Vitamin D3 treatment of mice having palpable tumors transiently retarded tumor growth, but caused a prominent reduction in tumor metastasis. Treating mice with vitamin D3 after tumor excision resulted in a reduction in the tumor-induced myelopoietic stimulation and associated immunosuppressive activity, and enhanced T cell function. These mice had a markedly reduced incidence of tumor recurrence. The results of this study suggest that vitamin D3 treatment of mice with GM-CSF-secreting tumors can interrupt the myelopoiesis-associated immunosuppressor cascade and, in turn, reduce tumor metastasis and recurrence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Lewis Lung / drug therapy
  • Cholecalciferol / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / biosynthesis
  • Hematopoiesis / drug effects*
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / cytology


  • Cholecalciferol
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor