A role for the interleukin 1 receptor in the synergistic antitumor effects of human interleukin 1 alpha and etoposide against human melanoma cells
To investigate the possibility that anticancer drugs combined with cytokines may show increased activity, human tumor cells were treated with combinations of human recombinant interleukin 1 alpha (rIL-1 alpha) and etoposide (VP-16). The cytotoxicity of these combinations was evaluated by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide assay using rIL-1 alpha-sensitive A375-C6 melanoma cells and A375-C5 cells, a clonal variant line that is resistant to IL-1 alpha. Data were
... lpha. Data were analyzed for synergism by the median effect principle of T-C. Chou and P. Talalay (J. Biol. Chem., 252: 6438-6442, 1977). At a dose ratio of VP-16 to rIL-1 alpha of 12 nM:1 unit/ml in either simultaneous or sequential exposure (VP-16 first), the calculated combination index values indicated synergistic cytotoxicity toward both A375-C6 cells and A375-C5 cells. IL-1 alpha treatment 24 h prior to VP-16 exposure had no advantage over simultaneous treatment. Surface IL-1 alpha receptors on both A375-C6 and A375-C5 cells were measured using 125I-radiolabeled rIL-1 alpha binding; A375-C6 cells had 701 +/- 128 (SD) receptor molecules/cell and A375-C5 cells only had 58 +/- 33 receptor molecules/cell. The dissociation constants for IL-1 alpha were similar in both cell types (19 +/- 6 pM for A375-C6 and 17 +/- 2 pM for A375-C5). The specific binding of rIL-1 alpha to the surface IL-1 alpha receptors of both sensitive and resistant cells was significantly increased in a dose-dependent fashion by the prior treatment with VP-16 (1.75-fold on A375-C6 cells and 3.5-fold on A375-C5 cells). VP-16 also enhanced the internalization of receptor-bound rIL-1 alpha, suggesting that a possible mechanism of the synergistic cytotoxicity of rIL-1 alpha and VP-16 might be related to the modulation of rIL-1 alpha receptors by VP-16, resulting in increased internalization of rIL-1 alpha.