The effect of gastrin neutralization was evaluated on the in vivo growth of the rat colon line, DHDK12, which expressed cholecystokinin B/gastrin receptors and secreted glycine-extended gastrin-17 (G17). Gastrin neutralization was achieved by administration of the immunogen, Gastrimmune, which is composed of the amino terminal portion of G17 linked to a diphtheria toxoid. A rat-specific version of Gastrimmune was used to preimmunize rats, with control animals receiving diphtheria toxoid only. The antibodies raised neutralized both carboxy-amidated and glycine-extended G17.
The tumor was implanted into the muscle layer of the abdominal wall, and rats immunized with Gastrimmune had significantly reduced median cross-sectional tumor areas (70.2% reduction; P = 0.005) and weights (56.5% reduction; P = 0.0078)) when compared to control rats. Histological analysis revealed that the tumors had an enhanced degree of necrosis, with the area of viable tumor in the Gastrimmune-immunized rat reduced to 40.3% compared to 58.6% in the control rats (P = 0.003).
Immunization with Gastrimmune raised antibodies that inhibited the growth of a rat colon tumor. This could have been mediated by neutralization of both serum G17 and cell-associated precursor gastrin molecules.