Role of gastrin and gastrin receptors on the growth of a transplantable mouse colon carcinoma (mc-26) in balb/c mice1,2

Pomila Singh, J. Patrick Walker, Courtney M. Townsend, James C. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


We recently reported trophic response of transplantable mouse colon cancer cells (MC-26) to pentagastrin, in viv and demonstrated gastrin receptors on MC-26 cells, in vitro. In the present study, growth of MC-26 cells in mice, in response to pentagastrin, was studied in relation to binding kinetics and capacity of gastrin receptor. Gastrin receptor levels on mouse fundic and colonic membranes and on MC-26 cellular membranes were determined before MC-26 cell inoculation and designated as Day 0 levels. Four groups of mice were next inoculated with MC-26 cells and given injections of either pentagastrin (treated) or normal saline (control) for 10 or 15 days. At the end of the treatment periods, body, tumor, fundic and colon weights were noted and gastrin receptor measured. Tumor and fundic weights increased significantly within 15 days of pentagastrin treatment, compared to control values. In control (non-pentagastrin treated) mice, the binding affinity of gastrin receptor on tumor membranes was significantly decreased and associated with the complete loss of high-affinity gastrin receptor (K4 = 0.5 nM) by Day 15 of tumor growth. On the other hand, both the binding affinity and gastrin receptor levels of tumor membranes were maintained at Day 0 values by pentagastrin treatment. Endogenous gastrin was therefore ineffective in maintaining high-affinity gastrin receptor on control tumors. A significant number of low-affinity gastrin-binding sites (K4 = 2 nM) appeared in control tumors by Day 15, which could reflect rapid dedifferentiation or conformational changes of gastrin receptor in the absence of high levels of normal regulatory hormones. These studies demonstrate that the trophic effects of gastrin on MC-26 cells are probably mediated by its regulation and maintenance of the binding affinity and capacity of gastrin receptor on the cancer cells, in vivo. copyright.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1612-1616
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
StatePublished - Apr 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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