Comparative Antiproliferative Activity in Vitro of Natural Interferons α and β for Diploid and Transformed Human Cells

E. C. Borden, T. F. Hogan, and J. G. Voelkel.
Cancer Research. 1982 December;42:4948-4953.
The relative antiproliferative activity of natural interferons α and β was compared in 43 in vitro assays of 25 human cell lines or strains. After 120 hr of continuous exposure to 100 units/ml, Interferon ßproduced >20% growth inhibition in 22 cells (88%), and Interferon a produced 20% growth inhibition in 9 cells (36%). Only Daudi (Burkitt's lymphoma) cells were consistently more inhibited by Interferon a. In the other 24 human cells, the effect of Interferon ßwas greater or equal to Interferon a. Although no tissue specificity for interferon ßwas evident, interferon a generally had greater antiproliferative effects in cells of hematopoietic origin. The effect of interferon a was usually established by 72 hr with little further growth inhibition at 120 hr. Conversely, interferon ßoften had a greater antiproliferative effect at 120 than at 72 hr. These findings support the hypothesis that various interferons may differ in their biological, cell-regulatory, and clinical effects.