The molecular mechanisms of tumor invasion and metastasis are yet to be fully elucidated. A potential tumor-metastasis-suppressor gene nm23 has been described in certain rodent and human tumors. In the present study, we examined the potential anti-invasive and anti-metastatic effect of nm23 gene in B16F10 cells, a malignant murine melanoma cell line. Transfection of nm23 gene into B16F10 melanoma cells resulted in significant suppression of the invasiveness and metastatic ability of melanoma cells and significantly enhanced the survival of tumor-bearing mice. B16F10 melanoma cells transfected with nm23 produced significantly less soluble ICAM-I and were more susceptible to LAK-cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Co-culture of B16F10 melanoma cells with IL-2 had no effect on nm23 expression, whereas treatment with PGE2, TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma resulted in down-regulation of nm23 expression. Concomitantly, in vivo treatment with TNF-alpha or IFN-gamma in experimental mice increased pulmonary metastases and lowered the overall survival period, as compared with IL-2 treatment alone. These results provide evidence that nm23, in addition to its anti-metastatic function, could also be involved in modulating tumor-target-structure expression, in down-regulating invasive potential and in production of soluble intracellular adhesion molecules. The down-regulation of nm23 by TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and particularly by PGE2 warrants re-examination of current immunotherapeutic protocols and of the role played by PGE2 in tumor progression.