We evaluated the effect of antisense insulin-like growth factor (IGF) receptor transcripts on the proliferation and tumorigenicity in an SV40-induced, immunocompetent hamster mesothelioma model (H9A). Expression of IGF-1 and IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) genes was identified from H9A RNA using reverse transcription-PCR and Northern analysis. H9A cells were electroporated with inducible expression vectors (under the transcriptional control of heat shock promoter HSP70) containing a cDNA fragment corresponding to base pairs 1–309 of IGF-1R in the sense or antisense orientation to generate the respective clones A3 sense or B9 antisense. The expression vector in genomic DNA was detected with PCR analysis as a 173-bp fragment on ethidium bromide gels. The effects of the expression vectors were then evaluated in vitro under active (at 39°C) or inactive (at 34°C) conditions. At 39°C, the B9 antisense transfectants demonstrated significantly less proliferation than A3 sense transfectants (P2 < 0.02). At 34°C, cell growth of A3 sense- and B9 antisense-transfected cells was not significantly different. In vivo tumorigenicity was evaluated in hamsters inoculated with 105 A3 sense- or B9 antisense-transfected cells. The A3 sense clones resulted in greater numbers of tumors in vivo compared to the B9 antisense clone (P2 = 0.0001). When genomic DNA from tumors that developed in A3 sense and B9 antisense animals was analyzed for the expression vectors, a 173-bp fragment amplified from the expression vector was identified in the sense tumors but not in antisense B9 or wild-type H9A tumors, indicating a loss of the vector from the antisense clones that proliferated in vivo. The inhibitory effect of IGF-1R antisense transcripts on hamster mesothelioma demonstrated in this study by decreased growth and tumorigenicity in vitro and in vivo may have implications for the therapy of human mesothelioma.


This work was partly supported by Grant 7-50386 from the DeMuth Memorial Cancer Research Fund (to M. C.), NIH Grant GM-33694 (to R. B.), Grant 06658 from Department of Health and Human Services/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (to C. W.), and a gift from Pfizer, Inc. (to M. C.).

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