We examined the mechanisms underlying the enhancement of radiosensitivity and chemosensitivity to gamma-irradiation (IR) and 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) in human oral carcinoma cells (B88) in which NF-kappaB activity was constitutively suppressed. Three super-repressor form of IkappaBalpha cDNA-transfected cell (B88mI) clones and 1 empty vector-transfected cell clone (B88neo) have been established. We found that the tumor-forming ability in nude mice of B88mI clones was significantly lower than that of B88 or B88neo. This suppressed ability in tumorigenicity was attributed to the down-regulation of the expression of interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-6, IL-8, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 in B88mI cell clones as compared to that in B88 or B88neo. IR and 5-FU induced a much greater degree of apoptosis, as evidenced by flow cytometry analysis and annexin V staining, in B88mI cell clones than in B88 or B88neo. When tumor-bearing nude mice were treated with IR or 5-FU, the suppression of tumor growth was significantly augmented in B88mI cell clones as compared to that in B88 or B88neo. ELISA analysis indicated that although a remarkable increase in production of IL-6 and IL-8 was observed in B88 and B88neo after in vitro exposure to IR or treatment with 5-FU, radiotherapy and chemotherapy-induced production of these cytokines was significantly suppressed in B88mI cell clones. These findings suggest that production of angiogenic factors and growth factors in response to radiotherapy and chemotherapy is a principal mechanism of inducible radioresistance and chemoresistance in human oral cancers, and establish the inhibition of NF-kappaB as a rational approach to improve conventional radiotherapy and chemotherapy outcomes.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.