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Erythropoietin suppresses the activation of pro-apoptotic genes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma xenografts exposed to surgical trauma

ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Several studies on the use of erythropoietin (Epo) to treat anaemia in patients undergoing cancer treatment have shown adverse effects on tumour control and survival. Experimental studies indicate that this could be linked to an interaction with wound healing processes and not an effect on tumour cells per se. We have previously shown that erythropoietin in combination with surgical trauma stimulates tumour growth. In the present study, we investigated the effect of surgery and Epo on gene expression. Methods: Human tumours from oral squamous cell cancer were xenotransplanted to nude mice treated with Epo. The tumours were then transected in a standardised procedure to mimic surgical trauma and the change in gene expression of the tumours was investigated by microarray analysis. qRT-PCR was used to measure the levels of mRNAs of pro-apoptotic genes. The frequency of apoptosis in the tumours was assessed using immunohistochemistry for caspase-3. Results: There was little change in the expression of genes involved in tumour growth and angiogenesis but a significant down-regulation of the expression of genes involved in apoptosis. This effect on apoptosis was confirmed by a general decrease in the expression of mRNA for selected pro-apoptotic genes. Epo-treated tumours had a significantly lower frequency of apoptosis as measured by immunohistochemistry for caspase 3. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the increased tumour growth during erythropoietin treatment might be due to inhibition of apoptosis, an effect that becomes significant during tissue damage such as surgery. This further suggests that the decreased tumour survival during erythropoietin treatment might be due to inhibition of apoptosis. Key words: Erythropoietin, Head and neck cancer, surgery, apoptosis, wound healing, xenograft. We wanted to study the effect of wound healing mechanisms on remaining tumour tissue efter incomplete surgery or biopsy. We xenografted human Head and Neck squamous Cell Cancer (HNSCC) tumours on Balb/c nude mice. The mice were divided in six groups. Three of the groups received intrapertoneal doses of erythropoietin (Epo) and the other three groups were given NaCl as placebo. One treated and one non-treated group were harvested without surgical transection. In the other four groups, the tumours were transected mimicking subtotal surgery. One Epo-treated and one non-treated group was analysed after 24 hours after transection and the remaining two groups 48 hours after surgery. Groups C and D were not analyzed due to harvesting at an unsuitable time interval. Group A No surgery (=FALSE) + Epo Group B No surgery (=FALSE) + NaCl Group E Surgery (=TRUE) + Epo 24 hours after surgical transection Group F Surgery (=TRUE) + NaCl 24 hours after surgical resection Group G Surgery (=TRUE) + Epo 48 hours after surgical transection Group H Surgery (=TRUE) + Nacl 48 hours after surgical transection

ORGANISM(S): Homo sapiens  

SUBMITTER: Maria Gebre-Medhin   Elisabet Kjellén  Johan Vallon-Christersson  Gustaf Lindgren  Johan Wennerberg  Lars Ekblad 

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-58194 | ArrayExpress | 2014-06-04



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