Background: Our laboratory and others have previously demonstrated that tumors grow larger and are more easily established following laparotomy than after CO2 pneumoperitoneum. The etiology of increased tumor growth after surgery is unknown. We hypothesized that, following laparotomy, a serum soluble factor(s) is generated that causes tumors to proliferate more rapidly. The purpose of the current study was to determine if in vitro tumor cells proliferate faster when incubated with serum from laparotomized mice than cells incubated with sera from mice who have undergone CO2 pneumoperitoneum or anesthesia alone. Methods: In the first experiment, female Balb/C mice (n = 84) were randomly divided into the following three groups: (a) control (AC), (b) CO2 insufflation (INS), and (c) laparotomy (OPEN). The AC mice underwent no procedure. The INS group underwent CO2 pneumoperitoneum at 4-6 mmHg for 20 min. The OPEN group had a midline incision from xiphoid to pubis. The serum of seven mice from each group were collected on postoperative days (POD) 1, 2, 4, and 7 via a cardiac puncture. The sera at each time point for each group were pooled. Twenty thousand C-26 colon cancer cells were incubated separately in growth media containing 10% mouse serum from each group (seven determinations/group) at each time point. In the second experiment, female Balb/C (n = 30) mice were divided into AC and OPEN groups. On POD4, sera were collected and pooled. Three separate studies were performed for the second experiment. In the first study, tumor cells were incubated with 10% AC sera or varying concentrations of OPEN mice sera (4-10%). In the second study, aliquots of sera from the OPEN group mice were then heated at 100°C for 1 or 5 min. Tumors were then incubated separately in media with 10% AC, OPEN, or heated OPEN group sera. In the third study, aliquots of sera from the OPEN group mice were dialyzed against PBS through a 3.5-kD or an 8-kD dialysis membrane tubing for 24 h. Tumors were then incubated separately in media with 10% AC, OPEN, or dialyzed OPEN group sera. For both experiments, tumor proliferation was determined and compared between groups after 72 h of incubation. Results: Tumor cells incubated with POD2 and POD4 sera from OPEN group mice proliferated twice as fast as those incubated with sera from either AC or INS group mice. The difference in proliferation was maximal on POD4 and started to decline by POD7. Proliferative activity from the OPEN group sera decreased significantly when heated for 1 min and was completely ablated after 5 min of heating. Proliferative activity from the OPEN group sera was completely ablated after dialysis. Conclusions: We conclude that there is a serum-soluble factor(s) present postoperatively that stimulates tumors to grow significantly faster after laparotomy. The mitogenic effect of laparotomized mice sera is dilutable. It is uncertain whether the factor is heat labile, since heating most likely destroys other necessary proteins in the sera. The size of the factor is undeterminable using the dialysis method. Further efforts to identify these factors are currently underway.
- Serum-soluble factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas