Background: Our laboratory has demonstrated that tumors grow larger and are more easily established following laparotomy than after carbon dioxide (CO2) pneumoperitoneum or anesthesia alone. We have also shown that tumor cells incubated with serum from laparotomized mice proliferated significantly faster in vitro than those incubated with plasma from mice that underwent laparoscopy or anesthesia alone. We hypothesized that differing levels of a plasma-soluble growth factor(s) postoperatively causes tumors to proliferate faster after laparotomy. This study's purpose was to isolate and characterize the plasma growth factor(s) responsible for the increased growth of systemic tumors after laparotomy. Methods: Female Balb/C mice (n = 100) were randomized to two groups: anesthesia control (AC) or midline sham laparotomy (4 cm) (Open). Plasma was collected on Post-operative day 4. For the tumor proliferation assay, C-26 colon cancer cells were incubated in media with either 10% AC or Open "raw" plasma (not passed through column), or AC or Open plasma that had been passed through the column. For elution of heparin-binding proteins, plasma from each group was passed through a heparin-sepharose column. Elution of bound proteins was accomplished with a 0.1-2 M NaCl gradient. Each fraction was examined for protein content. For the anti-platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) neutralizing antibody study, C-26 cells were incubated with one of four plasma preparations: AC or Open plasma alone, or AC or Open plasma incubated with anti-PDGF antibody. For both studies, tumor proliferation was determined after 2 days with an MTS/PMS assay. Results from each group were compared and differences determined using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey-Kramer tests. Results: On heparin chromatography, a single elution peak consistent with PDGF was present in both AC and Open plasma and was 1.5 times greater in the Open plasma. The first tumor proliferation assay showed that tumor cells incubated with Open plasma proliferated 2.5 times faster than those with AC plasma (p < 0.0001). Passage of AC plasma through the column did not alter its mitogenic activity, but Open plasma thus treated demonstrated significantly decreased mitogenic activity. The second tumor proliferation assay showed that anti-PDGF antibody had no effect on the mitogenic activity of the AC plasma but decreased the mitogenic activity of the Open plasma to the AC plasma level. Conclusions: Laparotomy is associated with higher levels of a heparin-binding plasma factor, consistent with PDGF. The enhanced mitogenic activity of the OP plasma was neutralized with anti-PDGF antibody. Increased plasma levels of PDGF after laparotomy may be responsible for accelerated tumor growth following laparotomy in mice.
- Plasma soluble factor
- Platelet-derived growth factor
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