Human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a dreadful disease and there is still no standard therapy available for a consistent therapeutic approach. This research is aimed at the evaluation of the potential therapeutic effect of a specific nicotinic receptor (nAChR) antagonist, namely alpha-Cobratoxin (alpha-CbT). Its effectiveness was tested in mesothelioma cell lines and in primary mesothelioma cells in vitro, as well as in vivo, in orthotopically xenotransplanted NOD/SCID mice. Cells showed alpha7-nAChR expression and their growth was significantly inhibited by alpha-CbT. Severe induction of apoptosis was observed after exposure to alpha-CbT [IC(80-90)]. Apoptosis was characterised by: change in mitochondrial potential, caspase-3 cleavage, down-regulation of mRNA and protein for survivin, XIAP, IAP1, IAP2 and Bcl-XL, inhibition by caspase-3 inhibitor. In vivo, the alpha-CbT acute LD(50) was 0.15 mg/kg. The LD(100) [0.24 mg/kg] induced fatal respiratory failure and massive kidney necrosis. Phase II experiments with 0.12 ng/kg alpha-CbT (1/1000 of LD(10)) were done in 53 xenotransplanted mice, inhibiting tumour development as confirmed by chest X-ray examinations, autopsy and microscopical findings. The growth of human proliferating T lymphocytes and of mesothelial cells in primary culture was not affected by alpha-CbT. Non-immunogenic derivatives of the alpha-CbT molecule need to be developed for possible human use.
|Numero di pagine||16|
|Rivista||European Journal of Cancer|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2008|