Human macrophages, derived from peripheral blood monocytes, acquire enhanced cytotoxicity for human target cells after incubation in mediator-rich supernates from antigen-stimulated lymphocytes. Maximum cytotoxicity was observed after 24-h incubation in mediators. In comparison to normal macrophages, mediator-activated macrophages were cytotoxic to five of the six malignant cell lines tested but had no effect on five nonmalignant cell lines. In 20 experiments with one target (SK-BR-3), mean cytotoxicity was 23 +/- 2.7% and with another target (MA-160), was 29 +/- 3.4%. Macrophages became cytotoxic after 8-h incubation with mediators and the enhanced cytotoxicity persisted for at least 40 h after the lymphocyte mediators were removed. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that macrophages, activated by antigen-induced lymphocyte mediators, can contribute to the host resistance to tumor growth in man.
D J Cameron, W H Churchill