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Int J Biomed Sci. 2007 Jun;3(2):104-11.

Suramin increased telomerase activity in the c6 glioma/wistar experimental brain tumor model.

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Department of Biochemistry, Istanbul University, Faculty of Pharmacy, 34116 Beyazit, Istanbul-Turkey;


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most treatment-resistant glioma variant. Significant roles for telomerase in etiology, recurrence and drug resistance of GBM have been highlighted. Suramin (Bayer, Leverkusen, Germany) is an antineoplastic agent that affects many cellular mechanisms including growth factor, purinergic receptor, cytokine and key cellular enzymes signaling. The aim of this study was to investigate whether suramin, 40 mg/kg, i.p., inhibits telomerase activity in a subcutaneous C6 glioma/Wistar experimental brain tumor model using PCR based telomeric repeat amplification assay. In comparison to the control group, suramin increased tumor volume and telomerase activity. We also used transmission electron microscopy to evaluate the alterations of cell morphology. Apoptosis was seen markedly in electron micrographs of the control group and anti-apoptotic activity of telomerase was verified in the electron micrographs of suramin-applied group. The in vitro inhibitory effects of suramin on telomerase activity in several cell lines except for brain tumors have been reported. Contrary to in vitro reports, our results were the first to demonstrate that suramin increased telomerase activity in a C6 glioma/Wistar experimental brain tumor. Large numbers of drugs exhibited apparent hormetic effects on cultured cancer cells and in vivo cancer growth. Several drug examples for their hormetic effects in vivo were listed as resveratrol, suramin, and tamoxifen. The action of suramin in the present study could be evaluated as one of the hormetic examples of suramin in vivo.


C6 glioma; chemosensitivity; hormesis; suramin; telomerase

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