Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Cancer. 1997;76(8):1011-6.

The action of 5-fluorouracil on human HT29 colon cancer cells grown in SCID mice: mitosis, apoptosis and cell differentiation.

Author information

  • 1Human Morphology, University of Southampton, UK.


This study investigates the effects of the anti-metabolite 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) on the human colon cancer line HT29 (10(7) cells per dose) grown subcutaneously in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. The efficacy of 5-FU was quantitatively evaluated by comparing the tumour weight, mitotic and apoptotic tumour cell indices and the expression of the Ki-67 nuclear antigen in drug-treated animals and control animals. The tumour cell carbohydrates were assessed using a lectin panel. A significant reduction in the tumour weight was found 4 days after initial 5-FU treatment. 5-FU treatment reduced the percentages of mitoses but increased the apoptotic index in the tumour cells. In addition, 5-FU induced an increase in the signet ring cell population and an increased binding for lectins specific for N-acetylgalactosamine and galactose. However, the vast majority of signet ring cells were negative for Ki-67. The results of this study indicate that continuous treatment with 5-FU for 4 days targets metabolic processes relevant for both cell division and apoptosis. The relative increase in the signet ring population can be explained by the fact that the more proliferation-active stem cell population of the tumour is the primary target of the therapy. The lectin-binding patterns reflect these changes and are therefore differentiation linked.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk