Published online Feb 15, 1999. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v5.i1.50
Revised: October 22, 1998
Accepted: December 5, 1998
Published online: February 15, 1999
AIM To study the role of interleukin 1β-converting enzyme (ICE) in antitumor drug-induced apoptosis in tumor cells.
METHODS Morphological changes in human esophageal carcinoma Eca-109 cells after treated with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) were observed under light and electron microscope. Expression of ICE in the tumor cells exposed to 5-FU was examined by the immunocytochemical method.
RESULTS The cells treated with 5-FU displayed disappearance of nucleoli, chromatin gathering under nuclear envelope, karyorrhexis, budding and the formation of apoptotic bodies. The expression of ICE was negative in control cells, and 5-FU could induce the ICE expression in Eca-109 cells undergoing apoptosis. The number and the staining intensity of positive cells increased with the extension of action time.
CONCLUSION 5-FU may induce apoptosis in hu-man esophageal carcinoma Eca-109 cells; ICE gene may be involved in the regulation of 5-FU-induced apoptosis; and ICE protein may mediate apoptosis induced by 5-FU.