Opioid growth factor (OGF) inhibits human pancreatic cancer transplanted into nude mice

Ian S. Zagon, Staci D. Hytrek, Jill P. Smith, Patricia J. McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nude mice inoculated with human pancreatic cancer (BxPC-3) cells and receiving 5 mg/kg of opioid growth factor ([Met5]enkephalin; OGF) three times daily exhibited a marked retardation in tumorigenicity compared to animals injected with sterile water (controls). OGF-treated animals had a delay of 43% in initial tumor appearance compared to control subjects (10.6 days). At the time when all of the control mice had tumors, 62% of the mice in the OGF group had no signs of neoplasia. Tumor tissue excised from mice after 30 days was assayed for levels of [Met5]enkephalin and ζopioid receptors. Tumor tissue levels of [Met5]enkephalin were 24-fold greater in OGF-treated mice than controls, but plasma levels of OGF were 8.6-fold lower in animals receiving OGF. Specific and saturable binding of radiolabeled [Met5]enkephalin to nuclear homogenates of pancreatic tumor tissue was recorded, with a binding affinity (K(d)) of 10 nM and a binding capacity (B(max)) of 46.8 fmol/mg protein. Binding capacity, but not affinity, of [3H-Met5]enkephalin was reduced by 58% of control levels in tumor tissue from mice of the OGF group. OGF and the zeta (ζ) opioid receptor were detected in human pancreatic tumor cells by immunocytochemistry. These results demonstrate that an endogenous opioid and its receptor are present in human pancreatic cancer, and act as a negative regulator of tumorigenesis in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Letters
Volume112
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 30 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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