Endocytosis of red blood cells or haemoglobin by activated macrophages inhibits their tumoricidal effect

Abstract

MICE with chronic Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) or Toxoplasma gondii infection have increased resistance to tumour growth, and peritoneal macrophages from these mice can selectively kill neoplastic cells in vitro by non-phagocytic means1,2. Although the actual molecular mechanism of killing is unknown, the tumoricidal macrophage (TM) vacuolar system is probably involved. Phase contrast3 and electron microscopy studies4 have suggested the translocation of TM lysosomes into tumour cells with subsequent tumour cell death. Trypan blue, an inhibitor of lysosomal enzymes, or hydrocortisone, a membrane stabiliser and inhibitor of membrane fusion, will suppress the in vitro tumour cell killing by TM (ref. 3). We report here that endocytosis of red blood cells (RBC), haemoglobin or haemoglobin degradation products by TM inhibits their turmoricidal effect.

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WEINBERG, J., HIBBS, J. Endocytosis of red blood cells or haemoglobin by activated macrophages inhibits their tumoricidal effect. Nature 269, 245–247 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1038/269245a0

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