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Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2013 Feb;34(2):295-300. doi: 10.1038/aps.2012.156. Epub 2012 Dec 3.

Growth inhibitory effects and molecular mechanisms of crotoxin treatment in esophageal Eca-109 cells and transplanted tumors in nude mice.

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1
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.

Abstract

AIM:

To investigate the antitumor actions of the Crotalus durissus neurotoxin (crotoxin) on human esophageal carcinoma (Eca-109) cells in vitro and transplanted esophageal Eca-109 tumors in nude mice.

METHODS:

The growth-inhibitory effect was analyzed in Eca-109 cells using MTT assay. Cell morphology changes in nuclei were observed using Hoechst 33342 staining, while apoptosis and cell cycle distribution were examined by flow cytometry. RT-PCR was used to measure the Bcl-2, p15, and caspase-3 p17 gene expression levels. A tumor transplantation model was established by inoculation of Eca-109 cells were into female Balb/c nude mice. Crotoxin (25, 50, and 100 mg/kg) was subcutaneously injected into the transplanted tumors every 2 d for a total of 10 injections. Tumor size and weight were measured. Bcl-2, p15, and caspase-3 p17 protein expression in transplanted tumors was analyzed using Western blotting.

RESULTS:

Crotoxin (25, 50, and 100 μg/mL) inhibited the growth of Eca-109 cells in a dose-dependent manner with inhibition rates of 22.9%, 35.8%, and 57.2%, respectively. Hoechst 33342 staining revealed apoptotic cells with pyknotic nuclear chromatin after crotoxin treatment. In Eca-109 cells, crotoxin induced apoptosis and G1 block, significantly upregulated the expression of p15 and caspase-3 p17 genes and downregulated the expression of Bcl-2 gene. Furthermore, crotoxin inhibited the growth of Eca-109 tumors in nude mice in a dose-dependent manner. Western blotting showed that crotoxin increased p15 and caspase-3 p17 protein levels and reduced Bcl-2 protein level in tumor specimens.

CONCLUSION:

Crotoxin inhibits the growth of Eca-109 cells in vitro via apoptosis induction and G1 block. Local administration of crotoxin inhibits the growth of subcutaneously transplanted Eca-109 cells in nude mice, possibly via increasing p15 and caspase-3 p17 protein expression and reducing Bcl-2 protein expression.

PMID:
23202800
PMCID:
PMC4011616
DOI:
10.1038/aps.2012.156
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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