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Cancer Res. 2000 Jul 1;60(13):3532-6.

Intracellular acidification of human melanoma xenografts by the respiratory inhibitor m-iodobenzylguanidine plus hyperglycemia: a 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


In vivo 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy demonstrates that human melanoma xenografts can be significantly acidified by induction of hyperglycemia combined with administration of m-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG), an inhibitor of mitochondrial respiration. In melanoma xenografts (< or =8 mm diameter), intracellular pH (pHi, measured by the chemical shift of the Pi resonance) and extracellular pH (pHe, measured with 3-aminopropylphosphonate) was reduced by less than 0.2 unit during i.v. infusion of glucose for 40 min. Administration of MIBG (30 mg/kg) under hyperglycemic conditions (26 mM) reduced tumor pHi and pHe by approximately 0.4 (P < 0.001) and approximately 0.6 (P < 0.001) unit, respectively; coincidentally, the nucleoside triphosphates:Pi ratio decreased approximately 60% (P < 0.004) relative to the baseline level. Minimal changes in pHi and pHe and a small decrease in nucleoside triphosphates:Pi ratio (26%, P = 0.2) were observed in liver in response to MIBG plus hyperglycemia. These results suggest that under normoglycemic and hyperglycemic conditions, small human melanoma xenografts (< or =8 mm) may exhibit a relatively high level of oxidative phosphorylation that may be blocked by MIBG. The acidification may result from increased lactate production as a direct effect of MIBG inhibition of respiration in mitochondria of tumor cells, or through indirect systemic effects, which remain to be identified. The synergetic effects of MIBG and hyperglycemia result in significant acidification of the tumor and a decrease in tumor bioenergetic status, and the effects are largely selective for tumors in comparison with normal tissues.

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