IDEXX BioAnalytics
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Recent publications
Routine health monitoring is an integral part of managing SPF rodent colonies. In recent years, rack-level environmental sampling has been introduced as an adjunct method or replacement for exposure of sentinel rodents to soiled bedding. However, rack level environmental monitoring is not compatible with rodent housing systems that have cage-level filtration. The current study investigated whether exposure of sterile flocked swabs to soiled bedding can be an alternative sampling method for routine health monitoring in mice, thus replacing the use of sentinels in soiled bedding cages. Flocked swabs were placed in cages containing pooled samples of soiled bedding but no mice; swabs remained there for 90 d, with weekly agitation and biweekly swabbing of the cage floor to mimic the agitation of soiled bedding by sentinel mice and facilitate the collection of dust particles. Fecal samples were collected from both colony and sentinel mice. For environmental samples, exhaust debris was collected from the rack plenum, and dust samples were collected from the exhaust hose. All samples were collected on days 88 through 91 and were tested for multiple pathogens by using real-time PCR assays. To determine the diagnostic agreement of flocked swab sampling with the other methods, we used κ statistics to compare the test results from flocked swabs with those from sentinel feces, exhaust debris, and colony animal feces; we found excellent agreement between the colony feces and the flocked swab methods. The sterile flocked swab method detected all enzootic pathogens in the colonies tested. Results from flocked swab samples had the least agreement with sentinel feces, which also failed to detect the presence of fur mites. This study supports the use of sterile flocked swabs as alternative to using sentinel mice, thus conforming to the guiding principles of replacement and reduction in the use of animals for routine colony health monitoring.
ICLAS Laboratory Animal Quality Network (LAQN) programs currently consist of the Performance Evaluation Program (PEP), which focuses on microbial monitoring by and for laboratory animal diagnostic laboratories, and the Genetic Reference Monitoring Program (GENRef), which provides assay-ready reference DNA for genetic testing of mouse strains. Since 2008, PEP has grown to become a truly international program with participating laboratories in 5 continents. Launched in 2016, GENRef currently distributes DNA from 12 common inbred mouse strains for use in genetic monitoring of locally inbred colonies as well as for genetic testing of stocks, particularly genetically engineered stocks, of uncertain origins. GENRef has the capacity to include additional strains as well as additional species. PEP and GENRef provide the reagents at cost, as a resource to the international scientific community, in the interest of improving research quality in an environment of growing concern for research quality, rigor, and reproducibility.
Purpose Most hormone-dependent human breast cancers develop resistance to anti-hormone therapy over time. Our goal was to identify novel treatment strategies to avoid this drug resistance and thereby control hormone-dependent breast cancer. Methods Sulforhodamine B assays were used to measure viability of cultured human breast-cancer cells. BT-474 cell tumor xenografts in nude mice were used to evaluate tumor growth. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess estrogen-receptor and angiogenesis-marker expression, as well as apoptosis, in tumor-xenograft tissues. Results MCF-7 and BT-474 breast-cancer cells treated with either RO 48–8071 <[4′-[6-(Allylmethylamino)hexyloxy]-4-bromo-2′-fluorobenzophenone fumarate] [RO]; a small-molecule inhibitor of oxidosqualene cyclase, a key enzyme in cholesterol biosynthesis> or liquiritigenin [LQ; an estrogen receptor (ER) β agonist] exhibited significantly reduced viability in vitro. RO + LQ treatment further significantly reduced cell viability. Administration of RO, LQ, or RO + LQ significantly inhibited growth of BT-474 tumor xenografts in vivo. RO, LQ, or RO + LQ reduced ERα but induced ER β expression in tumor xenografts. Both compounds significantly reduced angiogenesis-marker expression and increased apoptosis in tumor xenografts; use of RO + LQ significantly enhanced the effects observed with a single agent. Conclusion The ERβ ligand LQ significantly enhanced the inhibition of breast-cancer cell viability and tumor-xenograft growth by RO. The anti-tumor properties of RO may in part be due to an off-target effect that reduces ERα and increases ERβ, the latter of which can then interact with LQ to promote anti-proliferative effects. The RO + LQ combination may have value when considering novel treatment strategies for hormone-dependent breast cancer.
The gut microbiota (GM) exerts a strong influence over the host immune system and dysbiosis of this microbial community can affect the clinical phenotype in chronic inflammatory conditions. To explore the role of the GM in lupus nephritis, we colonized NZM2410 mice with Segmented Filamentous Bacteria (SFB). Gut colonization with SFB was associated with worsening glomerulonephritis, glomerular and tubular immune complex deposition and interstitial inflammation compared to NZM2410 mice free of SFB. With SFB colonization mice experienced an increase in small intestinal lamina propria Th17 cells and group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s). However, although serum IL-17A expression was elevated in these mice, Th17 cells and ILC3s were not detected in the inflammatory infiltrate in the kidney. In contrast, serum and kidney tissue expression of the macrophage chemoattractants MCP-1 and CXCL1 were significantly elevated in SFB colonized mice. Furthermore, kidney infiltrating F4/80+CD206+M2-like macrophages were significantly increased in these mice. Evidence of increased gut permeability or “leakiness” was also detected in SFB colonized mice. Finally, the intestinal microbiome of SFB colonized mice at 15 and 30 weeks of age exhibited dysbiosis when compared to uncolonized mice at the same time points. Both microbial relative abundance as well as biodiversity of colonized mice was found to be altered. Collectively, SFB gut colonization in the NZM2410 mouse exacerbates kidney disease, promotes kidney M2-like macrophage infiltration and overall intestinal microbiota dysbiosis.
Background Zebrafish used in research settings are often housed in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) which rely on the system microbiome, typically enriched in a biofiltration substrate, to remove the harmful ammonia generated by fish via oxidation. Commercial RAS must be allowed to equilibrate following installation, before fish can be introduced. There is little information available regarding the bacterial community structure in commercial zebrafish housing systems, or the time-point at which the system or biofilter reaches a microbiological equilibrium in RAS in general. Methods A zebrafish housing system was monitored at multiple different system sites including tank water in six different tanks, pre- and post-particulate filter water, the fluidized bed biofilter substrate, post-carbon filter water, and water leaving the ultra-violet (UV) disinfection unit and entering the tanks. All of these samples were collected in quadruplicate, from prior to population of the system with zebrafish through 18 weeks post-population, and analyzed using both 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and culture using multiple agars and annotation of isolates via matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. Sequencing data were analyzed using traditional methods, network analyses of longitudinal data, and integration of culture and sequence data. Results The water microbiome, dominated by Cutibacterium and Staphylococcus spp., reached a relatively stable richness and composition by approximately three to four weeks post-population, but continued to evolve in composition throughout the study duration. The microbiomes of the fluidized bed biofilter and water leaving the UV disinfection unit were distinct from water at all other sites. Core taxa detected using molecular methods comprised 36 amplicon sequence variants, 15 of which represented Proteobacteria including multiple members of the families Burkholderiaceae and Sphingomonadaceae . Culture-based screening yielded 36 distinct isolates, and showed moderate agreement with sequencing data. Conclusions The microbiome of commercial RAS used for research zebrafish reaches a relatively stable state by four weeks post-population and would be expected to be suitable for experimental use following that time-point.
A small colony of zebrafish (Danio rerio) experienced 30% acute mortality within a few days after receipt from a commercial source. A few fish presented with small areas of raised scales or tissue necrosis, primarily near the caudal peduncle. Edwardsiella ictaluri (E. ictaluri) was identified by real-time PCR of pooled zebrafish and swabs of the pre-filter and fine filter pads, with subsequent sequence analysis. E. ictaluri is most commonly associated with an enteric septicemia in catfish species and can have significant economic impact on commercial catfish fisheries. However, several references report naturally occurring E. ictaluri infection of nonictalurid fishes, including zebrafish. Ours is the first report demonstrating the use of environmental sampling to identify E. ictaluri in a zebrafish colony by real-time PCR. Moreover, our report indicates that E.ictaluri is a relevant disease for institutions using zebrafish as research species and emphasizes the importance of carefully considering importation and quarantine practices.
The mouse is the most commonly used model species in biomedical research. Just as human physical and mental health are influenced by the commensal gut bacteria, mouse models of disease are influenced by the fecal microbiome (FM). The source of mice represents one of the strongest influences on the FM and can influence the phenotype of disease models. The FM influences behavior in mice leading to the hypothesis that mice of the same genetic background from different vendors, will have different behavioral phenotypes. To test this hypothesis, colonies of CD-1 mice, rederived via embryo transfer into surrogate dams from four different suppliers, were subjected to phenotyping assays assessing behavior and physiological parameters. Significant differences in behavior, growth rate, metabolism, and hematological parameters were observed. Collectively, these findings show the profound influence of supplier-origin FMs on host behavior and physiology in healthy, genetically similar, wild-type mice maintained in identical environments.
Recent studies have shown beneficial effects of environmental enrichment (EE) for zebrafish, while infection of zebrafishwith the common pathogen Pseudoloma neurophilia has negative effects. This study investigates the effects of P. neurophiliainfection and EE in housing and breeding tanks on measures of behavior, growth, and reproduction. Zebrafish were sociallyhoused and were either infected, P. neurophilia-infected (PNI) (n = 12 tanks), or SPF for P. neurophilia (SPF) (n = 24 tanks).Fish were housed with or without EE, which consisted of placing plastic plants in the tanks; sprigs from plants were placedin half of the breeding tanks for half of breedings, alternating breeding tanks without EE weekly. Behavioral testing included the Novel Tank Diving Test (NTT) and Light/Dark Preference Test (LDT) conducted prior to breeding. At the end of the study, biometric data were collected. Histopathology and molecular analysis for common diseases in fish confirmed that SPF fish remained SPF and that fish from all PNI tanks were infected. PNI fish produced significantly fewer eggs and had lower body weights and lengths than did SPF fish. Fish with EE had longer body lengths, than did fish without EE, and male fish had longer body lengths than female fish. The biometric results and reproductive measures show that SPF fish exhibited better growth and suggest that EE in housing tanks could improve fish growth. The behavioral test results were inconclusive regarding whether infection status or EE altered anxiety-like behavior. Our results support other recent studies showing negative effects of P. neurophilia infection on zebrafish.
Corynebacterium bovis, the causative agent of hyperkeratotic dermatitis in immunodeficient mice, is a significant problemin preclinical oncology research. Infection results in lifelong skin colonization and a decrease in successful engraftment ofpatient-derived xenograft tumor models. The use of antimicrobial agents for C. bovis is controversial in light of reports of poor efficacy and the possibility of selection for resistant strains. The purpose of this study was to describe the antimicrobial susceptibilities of C. bovis isolates obtained exclusively from immunodeficient rodents in order to aid in antimicrobial dose determination. Between 1995 and 2018, 15 isolates were collected from 11 research institutions across the United States. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed for 24 antimicrobials commonly used against gram-positive bacteria. Our results provide an updated understanding of the susceptibility profiles of rodent C. bovis isolates, indicating little variability between geographically and temporally distant isolates. These results will facilitate appropriate antimicrobial use to prevent and treat C. bovis infections in immunodeficient rodents.
Recent studies have evaluated alternatives to the use of live animals in colony health monitoring. Currently, an alternativemethod that is suitable for all rack types and that has been verified to detect the infectious agents most commonly excludedfrom mouse colonies is unavailable. We compared the use of filter paper placed on the inside floor of mouse cages to the traditional use of sentinel mice in the detection of several prevalent murine pathogens including mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), murine norovirus (MNV), minute virus of mice (MVM), mouse parvovirus (MPV), Theiler murine encephalomyelitis virus(TMEV), Helicobacter spp., Syphacia obvelata, and Aspiculuris tetraptera. Experimental groups comprised 7 cages containingeither 2 pieces of filter paper on the cage floor or 2 ICR sentinel mice. Soiled bedding from pet-store mice was transferred to the experimental cages weekly for 8 wk. At 1 and 2 mo after bedding transfer, the filter papers were evaluated by PCR and sentinel mice were tested by serology and fecal PCR. Filter papers detected all pathogens as effectively (MHV, MNV, MPV, MVM, TMEV S. obvelata, and A. tetraptera) or more effectively (Helicobacter spp.) than sentinel mice at both time points. Filter papers more readily detected pathogens with a high copy number per RT-PCR analysis than a low copy number. Helicobacter spp. were not detected by sentinel mice at either time point. These results indicate that the use of filter paper placed on the interior floor of empty mouse cages and exposed to soiled bedding is efficient in detecting bacteria, endoparasites, and most of the common mouse viruses included in an animal health monitoring program.
Poorly controlled background genetics in animal models contributes to the lack of reproducibility that is increasingly recognized in biomedical research. The laboratory zebrafish, Danio rerio, has been an important model organism for decades in many research areas, yet inbred strains and traditionally managed outbred stocks are not available for this species. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as ‘inbred strains’ or ‘strains’, zebrafish wild-type lines possess background genetics that are often not well characterized, and breeding practices for these lines have not been consistent over time or among institutions. In this Perspective, we trace key milestones in the history of one of the most widely used genetic backgrounds, the AB line, to illustrate the dynamic complexity within an example background that is largely invisible when reading the scientific literature. Failure to adequately control for genetic background compromises the validity of experimental outcomes. We therefore propose that authors provide as much specific detail about the origin and genetic makeup of zebrafish lines as is reasonable and possible, and that the terms used to describe background genetics be applied in a way that is consistent with other fish and mammalian model organisms. We strongly encourage the adoption of genetic monitoring for the characterization of existing zebrafish lines, to help detect genetic contamination in breeding colonies and to verify the level of genetic heterogeneity in breeding colonies over time. Careful attention to background genetics will improve transparency and reproducibility, therefore improving the utility of the zebrafish as a model organism.
Background: Many esophageal pathologies are clinically treated by resection and reconstruction of the esophagus. Surgical esophagectomy remains a morbid procedure and despite minimally invasive advances, has changed little in decades. Novel approaches to esophageal segmental resection and reconstruction are an unmet need. Methods: Circumferential thoracic esophageal transection was performed in both male and female pigs and the defects reconstructed using 5 or 10 cm polyurethane (PU) tubular grafts and stented. A subset were treated with stent only. Animals were survived to 14, 30, 60, and 399 days. Tissues were evaluated histologically, and via non-invasive serial endoscopy and contrast swallowing studies in long-term animals. Results: Luminal patency was achieved in all animals with no clinical evidence of leak. In short-term animals, there was healing noted in all cases with a variably sized region of ulceration remaining at the most central part of the repaired tube (between the proximal and distal anastomosis). In four long-term animals following stent removal, two resumed normal diet and thrived, while two animals were euthanized prior to the proposed endpoint because of stricture formation and inability to tolerate a normal diet. Re-epithelialization was observed in all groups, and more complete over time. Conclusions: The PU scaffold provides a matrix across which formation of new tissue can occur. The mechanisms through which this happens remain unclear, but likely a combination of fibrosis and tissue contraction, in conjunction with new tissue formation.
During a 6-mo period, two 5-6 mo old female chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera) were examined at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus after the discovery of firm, nonmobile masses in the left ventral cervical and left axillary region. Other than these findings and mild weight loss, both chinchillas’ physical exams were normal. Bloodwork revealed an inflammatory leukogram characterized by leukocytosis, toxic neutrophils, lymphopenia, and monocytosis with mild, nonregenerative anemia. At necropsy, both masses were identified as abscesses. Streptococcus equi, subspecies zooepidemicus (S.zooepidemicus) was isolated in pure culture. Histology of the lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys showed a marked increase inthe numbers of both polymorphonuclear leukocytes and lymphocytes. Both animals were deemed unsuitable for research and were euthanized under isoflurane anesthesia by an intracardiac injection of pentobarbital sodium solution. S. zooepidemicus is an opportunistic, commensal organism found in the upper respiratory tract of horses. This organism has been documented to cause disease in other species and is zoonotic. Infections in humans have been reported, resulting in glomerulonephritis,endocarditis, septic arthritis, osteomyelitis, meningitis, and death. To aid in diagnosis and prospective surveillance of this bacteria, oral and nasal swabs were collected from the remaining cohort of chinchillas, and a qPCR screening assay was implemented. Within 12 mo, 4 of 41 additional females tested positive by culture or qPCR, resulting in a disease prevalenceof 14% (6 of 43). However, only 2 of the additional 4 S. zooepidemicus positive animals developed clinical signs. The potential for the spread of infection, zoonosis, and adverse effects on research demonstrate that surveillance for S. zooepidemicusshould be considered in a biomedical research environment.
Obstructive voiding disorder (OVD) occurs during aging in men and is often, but not always, associated with increased prostate size, due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, or prostate cancer. Estrogens are known to impact the development of both OVD and prostate diseases, either during early urogenital tract development in fetal–neonatal life or later in adulthood. To examine the potential interaction between developmental and adult estrogen exposure on the adult urogenital tract, male CD-1 mice were perinatally exposed to bisphenol A (BPA), diethylstilbestrol (DES) as a positive control, or vehicle negative control, and in adulthood were treated for 4 months with Silastic capsules containing testosterone and estradiol (T+E2) or empty capsules. Animals exposed to BPA or DES during perinatal development were more likely than negative controls to have urine flow/kidney problems and enlarged bladders, as well as enlarged prostates. OVD in adult T+E2-treated perinatal BPA and DES animals was associated with dorsal prostate hyperplasia and prostatitis. The results demonstrate a relationship between elevated exogenous estrogen levels during urogenital system development and elevated estradiol in adulthood and OVD in male mice. These findings support the two-hit hypothesis for the development of OVD and prostate diseases.
The North American river otter ( Lontra canadensis) is the largest mustelid in North Carolina, USA, and was once extirpated from the central and western portions of the state. Over time and after a successful reintroduction project, otters are now abundant and occur throughout North Carolina. However, there is a concern that diseases may have an impact on the otter population, as well as on other aquatic mammals, either through exposure to emerging diseases, contact with domestic animals such as domestic cats ( Felis catus), or less robust condition of individuals through declines in water quality. We tested brain and kidney tissue from harvested otters for the pathogens that cause leptospirosis, parvovirus, and toxoplasmosis. Leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis are priority zoonoses and are maintained by domestic and wild mammals. Although parvovirus is not zoonotic, it does affect pets, causing mild to fatal symptoms. Across the 2014–15 and 2015–16 trapping seasons, we tested 220 otters (76 females, 144 males) using real-time PCR for Leptospira interrogans, parvovirus, and Toxoplasma gondii. Of the otters tested, 1% (3/220) were positive for L. interrogans, 19% (41/220) were positive for parvovirus, and 24% (53/220) were positive for T. gondii. Although the pathogens for parvovirus and toxoplasmosis are relatively common in North Carolina otters, the otter harvest has remained steady and the population appears to be abundant and self-sustaining. Therefore, parvovirus and toxoplasmosis do not currently appear to be negatively impacting the population. However, subsequent research should examine transmission parameters between domestic and wild species and the sublethal effects of infection.
Murine norovirus (MNV) and mouse parvovirus (MPV) are among the most common adventitial viruses seen in laboratory mice, and infections arise in barrier facilities despite rigorous biosecurity programs. Some authors have implicated nonsterilized feed as a source of MPV in rodent facilities, but none have conclusively documented viral particles in the feed. In this study, we hypothesized that both viruses can resist the pelleting process but not subsequent irradiation or autoclaving, thus revealing a potential source of outbreaks in rodent facilities. To test this hypothesis, we contaminated powdered feed with 10-fold concentrations of MNV and MPV and fed it to both Swiss Webster (SW) and C57BL/6NTac (B6) mice to determine a 'powdered ID50' according to seroconversion over a 28-d period. We repeated the experiment by using powdered feed thatwe contaminated with increasing viral doses (as no. of powdered ID50) and subsequently pelleted; from these results, we determined a 'pelleted ID50.' Finally we assessed the effect of irradiation and autoclaving on contaminated pellets by using the same experimental design. The powdered ID50 was relatively low and identical in both mouse strains (2.51 × 102 pfu) for MNV but higher in B6 (copy number, 3.20 × 106) than SW (3.98 × 104 copies) for MPV. As hypothesized, mice were infected by contaminated rodent feed despite the pelleting process. Indeed, pelleting resulted in a 1- to 2-log increase in ID50 in both strains for MNV and MPV. Irradiation and autoclaving of infected pellets effectively prevented seroconversion of mice exposedto all doses of MNV, whereas a single mouse seroconverted at the highest dose of MPV (1.35 × 107 copies). These data suggest that both MNV and MPV remain infectious after conditions reproducing the rodent chow pelleting process and that nonsterilized rodent chow might be a source of viral outbreaks.
Background: Approximately 15-20% of all human breast cancers are classified as triple-negative because they lack estrogen and progesterone receptors and Her-2-neu, which are commonly targeted by chemotherapeutic drugs. New treatment strategies are therefore urgently needed to combat triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs). Almost 80% of the triple-negative tumors express mutant p53 (mtp5), a functionally defective tumor suppressor protein. Whereas wild-type p53 (wtp53) promotes cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis and inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor-dependent angiogenesis, mtp53 fails to regulate these functions, resulting in tumor vascularization, growth, resistance to chemotherapy, and metastasis. Restoration of p53 function is therefore a promising drug-targeted strategy for suppressing TNBC metastasis. Methods: APR-246 is a small-molecule drug that reactivates mtp53, thereby restoring p53 function. In this study, we sought to determine whether administration of APR-246, either alone or in combination with 2aG4, an antibody that targets phosphatidylserine residues on tumor blood vessels and disrupts tumor vasculature, effectively inhibits stem cell-like characteristics of tumor cells and migration in vitro, and metastasis of human mtp53-expressing TNBC cells to the lungs in mouse models. Results: APR-246 reduced both the stem cell-like properties and migration of TNBC cells in vitro. In mouse models, administration of either APR-246 or 2aG4 reduced metastasis of TNBC cells to the lungs; a combination of the two diminished lung metastasis to the same extent as either agent alone. Combination treatment significantly reduced the incidence of lung metastasis compared either single agent alone. Conclusion: Metastasis of human mtp53-expressing TNBC cells to the lungs of nude mice is inhibited by the treatment that combines activation of mtp53 with targeting of phosphatidylserine residues on tumor blood vessels. We contend therefore that our findings strongly support the use of combination treatment involving mtp53 activation and immunotherapy in patients with TNBC.
The Consortium for Mouse Cell Line Authentication was formed to validate Short Tandem Repeat (STR) markers for intraspecies identification of mouse cell lines. The STR profiling method is a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay comprised of primers targeting 19 mouse STR markers and two human STR markers (for interspecies contamination screening). The goals of the Consortium were to perform an interlaboratory study to–(1) validate the mouse STR markers to uniquely identify mouse cell lines (intraspecies identification), (2) to provide a public database of mouse cell lines with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-validated mouse STR profiles, and (3) to publish the results of the interlaboratory study. The interlaboratory study was an international effort that consisted of 12 participating laboratories representing institutions from academia, industry, biological resource centers, and government. The study was based on 50 of the most commonly used mouse cell lines obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). Of the 50 mouse cell lines, 18 had unique STR profiles that were 100% concordant (match) among all Consortium laboratory members, and the remaining 32 cell lines had discordance that was resolved readily and led to improvement of the assay. The discordance was due to low signal and interpretation issues involving artifacts and genotyping errors. Although the total number of discordant STR profiles was relatively high in this study, the percent of labs agreeing on allele calls among the discordant samples was above 92%. The STR profiles, including electropherogram images, for NIST-validated mouse cell lines will be published on the NCBI BioSample Database (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/biosample/). Overall, the interlaboratory study showed that the multiplex PCR method using 18 of the 19 mouse STR markers is capable of discriminating at the intraspecies level between mouse cell lines. Further studies are ongoing to refine the assay including (1) development of an allelic ladder for improving the accuracy of allele calling and (2) integration of stutter filters to identify true stutter.
Mutations in the tumor suppressor p53 gene are frequently associated with various cancers, including human breast cancer. Unlike wild-type p53 (wtp53), mutant p53 protein (mtp53) fails to promote apoptosis, resulting in tumor cell survival and resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs. Consequently, restoration of p53 function is a promising strategy for targeted cancer therapy. The aim of this study was to determine whether administration of APR-246, a small molecule that restores p53 function, either alone or in combination with 2aG4, an antibody that disrupts tumor blood vessels by targeting phosphatidylserine (high levels of which are present in tumor blood vessels) effectively suppresses breast cancer growth and metastasis. We previously reported that the proposed therapy is effective against hormone-dependent breast cancers which express mtp53, though not against breast cancer cells expressing wtp53. Furthermore, APR-246 alone and in combination with 2aG4 dramatically reduced xenograft blood vessel density, an important observation since blood vessels provide a major route for tumor metastasis. Most patients who succumb to breast cancer, and in particular, those with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) do so following metastasis to distant organs. TNBCs are devoid of chemotherapeutic targets; consequently, patients are administered toxic, non-specific drugs. However, since more than 80% of TNBCs express mtp53 it was our goal to determine whether APR-246/2aG4 might offer a new targeted approach through which to suppress metastatic TNBC. Female nude mice (n = 10-11/ group) were injected with MDA-MB-435 cells that metastasize efficiently to the lungs. Five days later APR-246 administration began; mice were injected i.v. with 100 mg/kg APR-246 every other day (11 treatments), followed by twice a week for a further 8 treatments. 2aG4 or C44 control antibody was administered i.p (100 μg/mouse) at the same time as APR-246. Compared with vehicle-treated mice, the number of metastatic colonies/lung were significantly reduced (P < 0.05, ANOVA) in animals given APR-246 or 2aG4 alone, or a combination of the two. This might be explained by induction of tumor cell apoptosis in the lungs. While treatment with APR-246 or 2aG4 alone reduced the number of MDA-MB-435-induced metastatic colonies, it took a combination of the two to significantly lower the incidence of metastasis (combination therapy brought about a 50% reduction in incidence of metastasis compared with controls; p<0.05; GENMOD). Throughout our studies no animals exhibited weight loss, indicating that treatments did not cause drug-induced toxicity. Based on our findings, we contend that the growth and metastasis of breast tumors that express mtp53 might effectively be controlled by simultaneous targeting of mtp53 protein and tumor blood vessels. Supported by a COR Faculty Research Grant. Unless otherwise noted, all abstracts presented at ENDO are embargoed until the date and time of presentation. For oral presentations, the abstracts are embargoed until the session begins. Abstracts presented at a news conference are embargoed until the date and time of the news conference. The Endocrine Society reserves the right to lift the embargo on specific abstracts that are selected for promotion prior to or during ENDO.
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12 members
David Birk
  • Department of Serology
Jana Jefferson
  • Department of Anatomic Pathology
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