A MEK inhibitor (U0126) prolongs survival in nude mice bearing human gallbladder cancer cells with K-ras mutation: analysis in a novel orthotopic inoculation model

Int J Oncol. 2003 Oct;23(4):957-63.


Most cases of gallbladder cancer are found at an advanced stage accompanied by invasion to the liver, metastases to the lymph nodes and distant organs, and peritoneal dissemination. Then, the treatment for advanced gallbladder cancer is often ineffective, and the prognosis of this disease is poor. The specific aim of this study was to establish a model system for developing new therapeutic strategies, such as molecular target therapy, for human advanced gallbladder cancer. We used a human gallbladder cancer cell line, NOZ with K-ras mutation in this experiment. Then, we established a novel orthotopic inoculation model for gallbladder cancer by using NOZ cells in nude mice. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in NOZ cells was constitutively activated, and the activation of MAPK provided autonomous proliferation of NOZ cells. All of the mice orthotopically inoculated by NOZ cells developed tumors at the gallbladder. Direct invasion into the liver, and bloody ascites were observed. Metastases to the mediastinal lymph nodes were also recognized in all of the mice examined. Moreover, most of the mice showed lung metastases. Survival duration was 29-50 days after inoculation. Nude mice with NOZ tumor at gallbladder were treated by an intraperitoneal injection of a MAPK kinase inhibitor U0126 (25 micro mole/kg) twice a week. U0126 (p=0.0110, one-way ANOVA) significantly prolonged the survival duration of the mice with NOZ gallbladder tumor. Our orthotopic inoculation model is useful for developing new therapeutic strategies, such as molecular target therapy for advanced gallbladder cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Butadienes / pharmacology*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Gallbladder / cytology*
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / mortality
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Genes, ras*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Nitriles / pharmacology*
  • RNA / chemistry
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Butadienes
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Nitriles
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • U 0126
  • RNA
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases