Paired lines of C3H mouse fibroblasts transformed with murine sarcoma virus (Kirsten strain) were prepared that express high or low levels of class II major histocompatibility complex antigen after treatment with interferon gamma (IFN-gamma). Here, we described a comparison of the tumorigenicity of these lines in euthymic syngeneic and thymus-deficient nu/nu mice and in mice depleted of IFN-gamma. The class II-inducible cells are clearly less tumorigenic than the noninducible cells in syngeneic mice, but of similar tumorigenicity in nu/nu mice and in mice treated with antibodies to deplete IFN-gamma. We propose that in this system, IFN-gamma induction of class II antigens on the tumor cell surface operates to limit tumor growth; ras expression, which inhibits induction of class II antigens, prevents this and so allows tumor growth.

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