We examined the ability of uridine to increase the therapeutic index of 5-fluorouracil (FUra) against C57BL/6 × DBA/2 F1 mice bearing a Day 1 B16 melanoma or L1210 leukemia. FUra (400, 600, or 800 mg/kg, i.p.) followed in 24 hr by a 5-day s.c. infusion with uridine (5 g/kg/day, s.c.) was compared with the maximum tolerated dose of FUra (200 mg/kg, i.p.) plus a 5-day infusion with 0.9% NaCl solution. High-dose FUra plus delayed infusion with uridine was more effective than FUra (200 mg/kg) in inhibiting the growth of the B16 melanoma. High-dose FUra plus uridine rescue was, however, no more effective than FUra (200 mg/kg) in increasing the survival times of mice bearing the L1210 leukemia.
To see if uridine rescue from FUra toxicity correlated with effects against a sensitive normal tissue, bone marrow nucleated cellularity of normal, non-tumor-bearing mice was monitored after drug treatment. In mice treated with FUra (200 mg/kg) followed in 24 hr by a 5-day infusion with either uridine (5 g/kg/day) or 0.9% NaCl solution, there was not as great a decrease in cellularity at the nadir with uridine, and, in addition, uridine accelerated recovery as compared to 0.9% NaCl solution. Furthermore, uridine (5 g/kg/day), but not thymidine (dThd) (5 g/kg/day) or 2′-deoxyuridine (dUrd) (5 g/kg/day), had a sparing effect on the depression in bone marrow nucleated cellularity seen at the nadir on Day 4 after Fura (200 mg/kg).
The specificity of uridine to rescue mice from the lethal toxicity of the related fluorinated pyrimidines, 5-fluorouridine and 5-fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine, was also examined. Mice were treated with 5-fluorouridine (250 mg/kg, i.p.) followed in 24 hr by a 5-day infusion with uridine (1, 5, or 10 g/kg/day), dThd (1, 5, or 10 g/kg/day), or dUrd (1 or 5 g/kg/day). Uridine (1, 5, or 10 g/kg/day) rescued mice from the lethal toxicity of 5-fluorouridine, whereas dThd or dUrd was ineffective. Similarly, a 5-day infusion with uridine, but not dThd or dUrd, rescued mice from the lethal toxicity of 5-fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine (1800 mg/kg, i.p.).
This investigation was supported by Grants CH-160 from the American Cancer Society and CA-17601 from the National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services.