The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

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Dual silencing of epidermal growth factor and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors significantly limits growth of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in nude mice

X Zhoua1, Y Yuana3 c1, J Songa3a6, W Chena2, J Lia1, L Yea1, X Menga4 and D Xiaa5

a1 Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, China

a2 Experimental Animal Centre, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, China

a3 Department of Anatomy, Wuhan University School of Medicine, China

a4 Department of Forensic Medicine, Wuhan University School of Medicine, China

a5 Department of Pathology, Wuhan University School of Medicine, China

a6 Key Laboratory of Allergy and Immune-related Diseases and the Center for Medical Research, Wuhan University, China

Abstract

Objective: We examined the effects of dual silencing of epidermal growth factor and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors on the growth of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in nude mice; we also assessed potential side effects in these animals.

Methods: Short hairpin ribonucleic acid expression vectors targeting epidermal growth factor and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors were constructed. Short hairpin ribonucleic acid plasmids targeting one or both receptors were transfected into human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells in nude mice. We then assessed epidermal growth factor receptor and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor expression and also cellular apoptosis. Peripheral blood was collected and subjected to haematological and biochemical analysis.

Results: The findings demonstrated that transfection with dual plasmids (targeting both epidermal growth factor receptor and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor) resulted in tumour cell growth inhibition of 84.78 per cent, and a significant increase in the number of necrotic and apoptotic cells, compared with single plasmid treatment. The short hairpin ribonucleic acid had no significant side effects on the heart, liver, kidney, spleen or blood system in this experimental model.

Conclusion: These results indicate that, in nude mice, dual silencing of both epidermal growth factor and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors results in more apoptosis and greater nasopharyngeal cancer cell growth inhibition, compared with silencing of either epidermal growth factor receptor alone or insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor alone. This occurred without significant side effects in the experimental animals.

(Accepted January 26 2008)

(Online publication May 01 2008)

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Prof Yulin Yuan, Department of Anatomy, Wuhan University School of Medicine, 135 Donghu Road, Wuhan, Hubei 430071 PR China. Fax:  +86 27 87307966 E-mail: Yuanyulin19620120@126.com

Footnotes

Professor Y Yuan takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper.

Competing interests: None declared

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