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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 11 (2002), Issue 4, Pages 197-201

Cytokine profile of Ehrlich ascites tumor treated with Bothrops jararaca venom

1Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Estadual Paulista – UNESP, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil
2Departamento de Patologia, Faculdade de Medicina, UNESP, Botucatu, São Paulo CEP 18618–000, Brazil

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We previously demonstrated that Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) has an antitumor effect on Ehrlich ascites tumor (EAT) cells and induces an increase of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in early stages of tumor growth. It has been reported that this venom presents an important inflammatory effect when inoculated in animal models and in human snakebites, and that cytokine levels have been detected in these cases. To evaluate whether the cytokines can be involved with the suppression of the tumoral growth, we evaluate the cytokine profile in the peritoneal cavity of mice inoculated with EAT cells and treated with BjV. Swiss mice were inoculated with EAT cells by the intraperitoneal route and treated with BjV venom (0.4 mg/kg, intraperitoneally), on the 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, and 13th day. Mice were evaluated for cytokine levels on the 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th and 14th day. Analysis was performed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels in the peritoneal washing supernatant. Results were analyzed statistically by the Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn's tests at the 5% level of significance. We observed that EAT implantation induces IL-6 production on the 11th and 14th days of tumor growth, IL-10 on the 11th day and TNF-α on the 14th day. The treatment with BjV suppresses production of these cytokines. In addition, IL-13 was produced by animals that were inoculated only with venom on the 11th and 14th days, and by the group inoculated with EAT cells and treated with venom on the 2nd and 14th days. Furthermore, we suggest that the IL-6 detected in the present study is produced by the EAT cells and the suppression of its production could be associated with the antitumor effect of BjV.