Hypoxia plays an important role in the development of solid tumors and is associated with their therapeutic resistance. There exist three major forms of hypoxia: acute, chronic, and intermittent hypoxia. Previous studies have shown that cancer cells could behave in the form of adaptation to hypoxia in tumor growth, which could result in their biological changes and determine their responses to the therapies. To investigate the tumor cells' adaptation to hypoxia, we recreated two models using two lung cancer cell lines in the presence of intermittent hypoxia, which is characterized by changes in oxygen pressure within the disorganized vascular network. We investigated biological behaviors such as cell cycle, proliferation, radiation sensitivity, apoptosis and migration, hypoxia signal pathway in the lung cancer cells treated with chronic intermittent hypoxia, as well as the role of hypoxia inducible factor 1 there, hypoxia-inducible genes analyzed by real-time RT-PCR chip in H446 cells treated with the model. The results indicated the changes of some hypoxia target gene expressions of those induced by hypoxia, some of which were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. The cells mediated by irradiation induced resistance to radiation and apoptosis and increased metastasis in lung cancer cells. It was found that such changes were related to hypoxia inducible factor 1, alpha subunit (HIF-1α).
© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.