Injection of DBA/2, C57Bl/6, or BALB/c mice with antibody to mouse interferon alpha/beta enhanced the i.p. transplantability of six different murine tumors, as manifested by an increase in the percentage of tumor-bearing mice and a decrease in survival time. The effect was observed in mice injected with antibody to interferon raised in three sheep, a goat, and a rabbit, but not with sheep antibody to "impurities" present in the mouse interferon preparations or with normal sheep or goat globulins. The enhancement in transplantability was most marked when tumor cells had been previously passaged in vitro and were of low tumorigenicity. Analysis of some of the experimental conditions using interferon-sensitive and interferon-resistant lines of Friend erythroleukemia cells (FLC) showed that the enhancing effect was observed over a wide range of tumor cell inocula, was directly related to the amount of antibody to interferon injected and was most pronounced when antibody was administered at the time of tumor cell injection. Enhancement was also observed when FLC were injected subcutaneously (s.c.). Antibody did not act directly on the tumor cells in vitro. Although we were unable to demonstrate any biologically active interferon in mice before or after tumor cell inoculation, the results suggest that endogenous interferon is present and plays a role in inhibiting the transplantability of some murine tumors in immunocompetent mice.

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