Effect of Tirapazamine, Metformin or Mild Hyperthermia on Recovery From Radiation-Induced Damage in Pimonidazole-Unlabeled Quiescent Tumor Cells

Shin-ichiro Masunaga, Keizo Tano, Yu Sanada, Yoshinori Sakurai, Hiroki Tanaka, Minoru Suzuki, Natsuko Kondo, Tsubasa Watanabe, Takushi Takata, Akira Maruhashi, Koji Ono


Background: The aim of the study was to examine the effect of tirapazamine (TPZ) on recovery from radiation-induced damage in pimonidazole-unlabeled quiescent (Q) tumor cells compared with that of metformin (Met) or mild temperature hyperthermia (MTH).

Methods: Proliferating (P) cells in EL4 tumors were labeled by continuous 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine (BrdU) administration. Tumors received γ-rays at 1 h after pimonidazole administration followed by Met or TPZ treatment or MTH. Twenty-four hours later, the responses of Q and total (P + Q) cells and those of the pimonidazole-unlabeled cells were assessed with micronucleation and apoptosis frequencies using immunofluorescence staining for BrdU and apoptosis frequency using immunofluorescence staining for pimonidazole, respectively.

Results: With γ-rays only, the pimonidazole-unlabeled cell fraction showed significantly enhanced radio-sensitivity compared with the whole cell fraction more remarkably in Q than total cells. However, a significantly greater decrease in radio-sensitivity in the pimonidazole-unlabeled than the whole cell fraction, evaluated using a delayed assay, was more clearly observed in Q than total cells. Post-irradiation MTH or Met treatment more clearly repressed the decrease in radio-sensitivity in the Q than total cells. Post-irradiation TPZ administration produced a large radio-sensitizing effect on both total and Q cells, especially on Q cells. In pimonidazole-unlabeled cell fractions in both total and Q cells, TPZ suppressed the reduction in sensitivity much more efficiently than MTH or Met without any radio-sensitizing effect.

Conclusion: Post-irradiation TPZ administration has the potential to both suppress recovery from radiation-induced damage and enhance the radio-sensitivity both in total and Q tumor cells. Post-irradiation TPZ administration may be useful for controlling tumors.

World J Oncol. 2017;8(5):137-146
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/wjon1058w



Quiescent cell; Recovery from radiation-induced damage; Tirapazamine; Metformin; Mild temperature hyperthermia

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