Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Dev Biol Stand. 1985;60:371-91.

Primary cultures of neonatal rat liver as an assay system to identify compounds belonging to the tumor promoters class.


A single exposure to a low concentration (10-10 mol/L) of tumor promoters (like 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), phenobarbital, and nafenopin) or of hormones (as epidermal growth factor (EGF), glucagon and insulin) or of drugs (like imidazole and indomethacin) stimulated the 24-h flow into DNA synthesis and mitosis of primary neonatal rat hepatocytes incubated in high-calcium (1.8 mmol/L) Eagle's MEM-FBS medium. However, only tumor promoters acted as enhancers of hepatocytic DNA synthesis when a low-calcium (0.1 mmol/L) FBS-MEM medium was used. The tumor promoters' activity was completely suppressed by the simultaneous (or nearly such) addition of low doses (from 25.0 to .25 micrograms/ml; activity, from 100 to 1.0 unit/ml) of exogenous bovine liver Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD), whatever the medium's calcium concentration. By contrast, SOD did not inhibit the growth stimulation elicited by hormones and drugs in hepatocytes exposed to the high-calcium FBS-MEM medium. Moreover, several tumor promoters (namely TPA, phenobarbital, nafenopin, saccharin, teleocidin, benzoyl peroxide, BHT, DDT, lindane, clofibrate, and melittin) stimulated DNA synthesis even when the hepatocytes were incubated in the serumless HiWoBa2000 medium, whatever its calcium concentration. In this synthetic medium, the tumor promoter's stimulatory activity was again completely written off by the simultaneous administration of exogenous (superoxide dismunate) SOD. These results disclose the existence of two quite different mechanisms by which neonatal rat hepatocyte growth can be stimulated: (i) the physiological-pharmacological extracellular calcium-dependent SOD-insensitive machinery, mediating the effects of EGF, glucagon, insulin, imidazole, and indomethacin; and (ii) the pathological extracellular calcium-independent SOD-suppressible mechanism operated by agents belonging to the tumor promoters class and involving, as a critical step, the generation of superoxide anions at the surface of the hepatocyte's plasma membrane. The present results also indicate that primary cultures of neonatal rat hepatocytes may constitute a useful tool for promptly and safely identifying compounds endowed with tumor promoters' capabilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center