Inhibition of cancer cell motility and invasion by interleukin-12

Clin Exp Metastasis. 1995 Sep;13(5):396-404. doi: 10.1007/BF00121916.


Tumour cell motility and attachment are crucial requirements in the formation of metastatic lesions. These properties are affected by a number of cytokines including hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) and several immunoregulatory proteins, including interleukin-12 (IL-12). Although IL-12 has been reported to exhibit potent anti-tumour effects in vivo, a direct effect of IL-12 on cancer cells has not been reported. We show here that IL-12 directly inhibited the attachment of the human colon cancer cell lines HRT18, HT29 and HT115 to Matrigel, HGF/SF-stimulated cell motility and HGF/SF-induced cell invasion through a reconstituted basement membrane. IL-12 did not affect the growth of these cell lines. Flow cytometry, Western analysis and immunohistochemistry revealed an up-regulation of E-cadherin cell-surface adhesion molecules. These direct effects of IL-12 on colon cancer cells suggest a potentially important role for IL-12 in metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Cadherins / analysis
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-12 / pharmacology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / drug effects
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Cadherins
  • Interleukin-12