The effect of adrenalectomy and dexamethasone on interleukin-1α induced responses in RIF-1 tumours

P. G. Braunschweiger, C. S. Johnson, N. Kumar, V. Ord, P. Furmanski

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14 Scopus citations


In the present studies the effect of bilateral adrenalectomy on the pathophysiologic responses to recombinant human interleukin-1α (rHIL-1α) was determined in RIF-1 tumour models. Acute vascular injury and a hemorrhagic responses were quantitated by the intra-tumour accumulation of 59Fe radiolabelled erythrocytes. In vivo clonogenic tumour cell kill was determined by an excision assay. A single, intraperitoneal rHIL-1α treatment (6.25 x 107 D10 units kg-1, 25 μg kg-1) resulted in acute tumour haemorrhage and approximately 55% clonogenic tumour cell kill (24 h). Bilateral adrenalectomy, 24 h before rHIL-1α, significantly increased haemorrhagic responses, but haemodynamic toxicity was severe. This toxicity could be ameliorated by giving dexamethasone (5 mg kg-1) before or up to 3 h after rHIL-1α. The effect of dexamethasone on rHIL-1α induced tumour responses in adrenalectomised mice was sequence dependent. Given before rHIL-1α, dexamethasone inhibited tumour haemorrhage. When dexamethasone was given up to 3 h after rHIL-1α, tumour haemorrhage was directly related to sequence interval. Although adrenalectomy and dexamethasone alone had little effect on RIF-1 tumours, adrenalectomy increased rHIL-1α mediated clonogenic tumour cell kill. The surviving fraction 24 h after rHIL-1α (6.25 x 107 D10 units kg-1, 25 μg kg-1) and dexamethasone (5 mg kg-1, 2 h after rHIL-1α) was 1.3 ± 0.4%. The surviving fraction after this combination in intact mice (36.7 ± 1.4%) was approximately 30-fold higher than that seen in adrenalectomised mice. The results indicate that adrenal responses secondary to rHIL-1α treatment exert a negative feedback on rHIL-1α mediated responses in solid tumours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-13
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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