Effect of picibanil (OK432) on neutrophil-mediated antitumor activity: Implication of monocyte-derived neutrophil-activating factors

Kuender D. Yang*, Richard M. Stone, Chung Shinn Lee, Tsu Yi Chao, Shin Nan Cheng, Men Fang Shaio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

25 Scopus citations


Picibanil (OK432), an extract from streptococci, has been widely utilized to treat malignant ascites and pleural effusions. The antitumor mechanism is believed to include complement-mediated neutrophil activation. Employing a flow-cytometric analysis of actin polymerization as an indicator of cell activation as well as a tumor proliferation assay, we have found that monocytederived neutrophil-activating factors were involved in OK432-induced neutrophil activation as well as antitumor activity. OK432-stimulated (0.1 KE/ml; 0.01 mg/ml) monocyte supernatants (OKMS) induced neutrophil actin polymerization and chemotaxis. OKMS were responsible for neutrophil-mediated inhibition of human leukemic (CEM) cell proliferation and stimulated neutrophils to produce superoxide in the presence of CEM leukemic cells at an effector/target ratio higher than 20/1. In contrast, OK432 alone, OK432-stimulated lymphocyte supernatants, or OK432-stimulated neutrophil supernatants had no effect on neutrophil activation or suppression of tumor cell proliferation. OK432 in combination with mononuclear cells also had no effect on the inhibition of CEM cell proliferation. Pretreatment of OKMS at 56°C for 30 min did not affect its ability to activate neutrophils, implying that complement activation is not responsible for the neutrophil activation. Supernatants from OK432-stimulated mononuclear cells, as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and radioimmunoassays, contained high levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8; 1567±145 pg/ml) and tumor necrosis factor (TNFα; 2105±152 pg/ml), low levels of leukotriene B4 (800±45 pg/ml) and IL-1β (180±22 pg/ml), but interferon γ was not detectable. IL-1β, IL-8, and TNFα transcripts, undetectable in untreated monocytes, increased significantly after 30-60 min exposure to OK432. These results suggest that neutrophil-activating factors from monocytes or resident macrophages may play an important role in the OK432-induced neutrophil activation and antitumor activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Immunology Immunotherapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 07 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Antitumor activity
  • Neutrophil
  • OK432


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