• muscle cultures;
  • anti tumor factor;
  • conditioned medium

The present work is an attempt to explain the high resistance of muscles to cancer development. We used primary cultures of rat skeletal and cardiac muscle, and examined the effect of the supernatant of these cultures (conditioned medium; CM) on proliferation of cancer cells. The results demonstrated that CM inhibited the proliferation of several types of malignant cells by more than 50%, without a significant inhibition on normal cells. Cell cycle analysis revealed that CM increased the number of cells in S and G2 phases, suggesting a cytostatic effect of CM. For defining the biological properties of the factor(s) which are present in the CM, skeletal muscle cultures were grown in chemically defined medium (serum free medium). The concentrated sample was applied to a Sephadex G-50 column and three fractions were obtained. Only one fraction showed inhibitory activity. Four protein bands were observed in this fraction, as revealed by SDS-PAGE. We suggest that some, or all of these proteins are responsible for inhibition of tumor cell replication.