Interferon-induced changes in human ovarian carcinoma cell lines

K. S. Metcalf, P. J. Selby, L. K. Trejdosiewicz, J. Southgate*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interferon α (IFNα) may have a clinical role in maintenance therapy of advanced epithelial ovarian cancer following chemotherapy. To investigate the action of IFN, we have studied the direct effects of IFNα and IFNγ on cell surface antigen expression in four human ovarian cancer cell lines (Caov-3, SK-OV-3, SW626 and NIH OVCAR 3). All cell lines demonstrated responses to the IFNs, indicating that IFN response elements had been retained. The effects of IFNα and IFNγ on cell surface phenotype were investigated by analytical flow cytometry for a panel of 15 cell surface antigens, which included tumor- associated antigens, growth factor receptors, MHC antigens, adhesion molecules and epithelial mucins. As single agents or in combination, the effects of the interferons on cell surface phenotype were heterogeneous, with up-regulation of MHC class I being the most consistent observation. IFNγ, alone or with IFNα, also up-regulated expression of MHC class II and ICAM- 1. IFNα caused down-regulation of cell surface expression of the CA125 antigen in NIH OVCAR 3 cells by inducing antigen shedding. This has potential clinical implications for tumor monitoring during IFN therapy in ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997


  • Antigens
  • Cell lines
  • Flow cytometry
  • Interferon
  • MHC
  • Ovarian carcinoma

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