Journal of leukocyte biology vol:57 issue:1 pages:141-51
Cotreatment or pretreatment of several human myeloid cell lines (KG1, HL60, U937, THP1) with the differentiation inducer DMSO was found to potentiate the antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects of TNF. In addition, TNF-resistant monocytic cell lines could be sensitized to TNF cytotoxicity by DMSO treatment. Other highly polar molecules, known to be potent differentiation inducers, showed similar effects to those of DMSO. The potentiating effect of DMSO was related neither to an up-regulation of TNF receptor expression nor to an alteration in the rate of TNF internalization and degradation. We present evidence that the TNF activities are p55 TNF receptor-mediated and are not due to insertion of TNF into lipid bilayers, an effect that could be susceptible to DMSO, as this component has been described to modify cell membrane characteristics. DMSO-induced potentiation of TNF cytostasis/cytotoxicity was restricted to myeloid leukemia cell lines. In non-myeloid cells such as fibrosarcomas, myosarcomas, thymomas, or carcinomas, DMSO was found either not to alter or to inhibit TNF-induced cell death. The latter results are in good agreement with data reported by others who suggested that DMSO could act as a scavenger of TNF-induced toxic radical formation. The potential correlation in myeloid cells between DMSO-induced changes in the cells' differentiation status and DMSO-enhanced TNF-susceptibility is discussed.