It has been demonstrated that growth of cerebral meningiomas found in humans is controlled by a variety of factors, including growth factors, aminergic agents, neuropeptides, and steroids. The authors investigated the presence and function of the cytokines leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and oncostatin M (OSM) on meningioma cell proliferation.
Active transcription of LIF, IL-6, OSM, their related receptors (LIF-R, IL-6-R, gp130), and the consecutive signal-transducing molecules (STAT 1, STAT 3, and STAT 5a) were analyzed in reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction experiments.
The presence of endogenous LIF, IL-6, and OSM proteins was demonstrated in the supernatant of cultured meningioma cells using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot experiments, thus indicating an autocrine signaling pathway for all three cytokines.
The biological function of all three cytokines was evaluated by studying their effects on meningioma cell growth. Recombinant LIF and IL-6 showed no significant growth modulating effects; however, recombinant OSM decreased meningioma cell growth by 66%. The antiproliferative potency of OSM was demonstrated by cell count experiments, [3H]thymidine incorporation assay, and cell cycle analysis. These in vitro data support the concept that growth of meningioma cells may be modulated by cytokines and also indicates that recombinant OSM may be one of the future candidates for use in the adjuvant treatment of inoperable and recurrent meningiomas.