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Jpn J Cancer Res. 2002 Sep;93(9):960-7.

Appearance of osteonectin-expressing fibroblastic cells in early rat stomach carcinogenesis and stomach tumors induced with N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine.

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Human Genome Center, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


The present study was designed to define molecular alterations in the initiation stage of rat stomach carcinogenesis. Groups of male Lewis rats, 6 weeks old, were given drinking water with or without N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG; 100 mg/liter). Total RNA was isolated from the stomach pyloric mucosa, and fluorescent differential display analysis was performed. A cDNA fragment of 125 bp encoding an extracellular matrix-associated matricellular glycoprotein, osteonectin, was identified after 14 days of MNNG exposure. A severalfold increase in expression was observed after 14 and 27 days of MNNG exposure, as determined by northern blot and RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry revealed that osteonectin-mAb-stained fibroblastic cells appeared in interstitial tissue of pyloric mucosa. Additionally the gene expression of other extracellular matrix proteins, viz., collagen type III, fibronectin, osteopontin, proteoglycan NG2, laminin gamma1 and S-laminin, was also markedly increased, as determined by competitive RT-PCR after 14 days of MNNG exposure. The gene expression of osteonectin and the six other extracellular matrix proteins was elevated in twelve stomach adenocarcinomas and adenomas induced by MNNG in Lewis and WKY rats. Osteonectin-mAb-stained fibroblastic cells were evident in interstitial tissue of stomach tumor. These results suggest that osteonectin-expressing fibroblastic cells appear in the interstitial tissue of pyloric mucosa from the early initiation stage of rat stomach chemical carcinogenesis, and that this phenomenon probably plays a role in cancer development.

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