Mycoplasma contamination in human tumor cell lines: effect on interferon induction and susceptibility to natural killing

C Birke, H H Peter, U Langenberg, Werner Muller, J H Peters, J Heitmann, W Leibold, H Dallügge, E Krapf, Holger Kirchner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Cleaning of human tumor cell lines from arginine-dependent nonfermentative Mycoplasma orale 1 (MO1) by a recently developed technique profoundly altered several in vitro properties of the cell lines. Four melanoma lines (Mel I, Mel St, Mel K, IGR3) and 1 ovarian carcinoma line (Ro) induced human leukocyte interferon (IFN-alpha) only in the mycoplasma-infected state and not in the mycoplasma-free state. MO1-infected tumor lines were generally more susceptible to natural killer (NK) cell-mediated lysis than their mycoplasma-free counterparts. Reinfection of cleaned tumor lines with MO1 restored their interferonogenicity and the increased susceptibility to NK lysis. Thus, the amplifying role of MO1 infection on NK target lysis occurred in connection with an increased production IFN-alpha during the assay period. The human erythroleukemia cell line K562 was exceptional in that it also induced high levels of IFN in an apparently mycoplasma-free state and was unaffected in its susceptibility ot NK lysis by infection with MO1. Possible implications of these findings for the biologic significance of the NK reaction are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)94-8
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Immunology
    Volume127
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1981

    Keywords

    • Cells, Cultured
    • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
    • Female
    • Humans
    • Interferon Inducers
    • Killer Cells, Natural
    • Melanoma
    • Mycoplasma Infections
    • Ovarian Neoplasms

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