Send to

Choose Destination
Gene Ther. 2001 Aug;8(15):1149-56.

Transfer of bcl-xs plasmid is effective in preventing and inhibiting rat hepatocellular carcinoma induced by N-nitrosomorpholine.

Author information

Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Osaka, Japan.


To examine the effect of the bcl-xs gene on the sequence from hepatic precancerous lesions, foci and neoplastic nodules, to hepatocellular carcinomas, Sprague-Dawley rats were given water containing 175 mg/l N-nitrosomorpholine (NNM) for 8 weeks. At weeks 1, 4 and 7, the left lobe of the rat liver was exposed and injected with the bcl-xs plasmid (pCR3.1-rat bcl-xs cDNA) or pCR3.1 encapsulated in cationic empty liposomes each at a dose of 80 microg plasmid/kg body weight. One minute later, low-field-strength, long-duration electric pulses were applied to the left lobe using a pincette electrode with circular poles 1 cm in diameter. The in vivo electroporation procedure significantly increased the transfer of the reporter gene chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) plasmid via empty liposomes. Thus, CAT mRNA was expressed not only at the sites of electrode contact but at sites 0.5-1.0 cm away from the electrode, and expression also increased with increasing doses of plasmid, meaning that in vivo electroporation enabled the expression of plasmid DNA throughout an extensive area of the rat liver. By week 11, the neoplastic nodules were significantly fewer and smaller in the bcl-xs group than in the pCR3.1 group at the two sites, one with and the other without electrode contact. No hepatocellular carcinomas were found in the rats that had received the bcl-xs plasmid, whereas these tumors were observed in 30% of the rats given pCR3.1. Moreover, overexpression of the bcl-xs protein was detected, and apoptotic activity was significantly increased in the neoplastic nodules, foci and hepatocytes adjacent to the hepatic lesions. These results indicate that the bcl-xs plasmid inhibits the occurrence and growth of rat hepatocellular carcinoma and may thus be effective for the prevention and treatment of human liver tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center