Increased neopterin concentrations in patients with cancer: indicator of oxidative stress?Anticancer Res 1999 May-Jun; 19(3A):1721-8AR
In vitro, large amounts of neopterin are produced by human monocytes/macrophages upon stimulation with interferon-gamma. In vivo increased neopterin concentrations in human serum and urine indicate activation of cell-mediated (Th1-type) immune response, e.g., during virus infections, autoimmune diseases, allograft rejection and in certain types of malignancy. In various groups of patients with malignant diseases neopterin concentrations correlate to the stage of disease, and higher neopterin concentrations in serum, urine or ascitic fluid were shown to significantly predict worse prognosis regarding relapse and survival. The amounts of neopterin produced by activated monocytes/macrophages correlate with their capacity to release reactive oxygen species (ROS). With this background, neopterin concentrations in body fluids can be regarded as an indirect estimate of the degree of oxidative stress emerging during cell-mediated immune response. Moreover, recently neopterin was found itself to be capable of enhancing toxic effects induced by ROS. In vitro, neopterin derivatives were able to interfere with intracellular signal transduction pathways involved in, e.g., programmed cell death and the induction of proto-oncogene c-fos or nuclear factor-chi B. The data support the view that increased production of ROS--indicated by increased neopterin concentrations--could modulate the development, the proliferation and the survival of malignant cells.