Targeting epigenetic mediators of gene expression in thoracic malignancies.
- David S Schrump
- Biochimica et biophysica acta
Occupationally induced lung cancer and mesothelioma have long been attributed to asbestos and moreover, several epidemiological studies have indicated a co-carcinogenic effect of cigarette smoking on the incidence of lung cancer in asbestos workers. The aim of the present study was to investigate the co-carcinogenic effects of asbestos and other carcinogens with emphasis placed on determining the effects of cigarette smoking on the incidence of asbestos induced carcinomas. Doses of 15 mg of chrysotile asbestos were administered intratracheally to Wistar rats alone and in conjunction with N-bis(hydroxypropyl)nitrosamine (DHPN) and/or cigarette smoking. DHPN at dose of 1 g/kg/B.W. was injected three times intraperitoneally, and the subject animals were exposed to smoke from 10 cigarettes per day, six days a week, for their entire life span. As a result, lung carcinomas were induced in one out of the 31 rats receiving only asbestos. Lung tumors were induced at a much higher incidence in the groups receiving DHPN alone and in conjunction with asbestos: of the 37 rats treated with DHPN alone 19 (51.4%) developed lung tumors, whereas those receiving asbestos as well showed an incidence of 68.4% (23/38) of carcinomas. The development of lung carcinomas (including adenocarcinomas, epidermoid carcinomas, anaplastic carcinomas, and combined carcinomas) was seen in 8 (21.6%) out of the 37 rats receiving DHPN alone and in 23 (60.5%) out of the 38 rats receiving asbestos as well. The incidence of lung carcinoma was significantly increased in combined treatment with asbestos than DHPN alone. In the group receiving asbestos in combination with cigarette smoke, 4 (13.8%) out of the 29 rats developed lung carcinomas, but these carcinomas were more common than in the group receiving only asbestos. Moreover, in the group administered asbestos, DHPN and smoking combined, lung tumors developed in 18 (62.1%) out of the 29, 15 (51.7%) of which proved to be malignant. Mesothelioma (pleura) was induced in three groups in the following combinations: DHPN plus asbestos, 8/38 (21.1%); smoking plus asbestos, 2/29 (6.9%); and smoking, DHPN and asbestos, 4/29 (13.8%). These tumors were extensively located, that is, on the parietal pleura, visceral pleura, epicardium and diaphragm surface. However, mesothelioma was not induced by asbestos alone nor by DHPN alone. Carcinogenicity of asbestos for pleural tumors was significantly promoted by combined treatment with DHPN to an extent greater than DHPN alone. It should be noted that asbestos plus smoking resulted in a higher incidence of mesothelioma than asbestos alone.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)