Published online Apr 15, 2003. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v9.i4.660
Revised: October 27, 2002
Accepted: November 4, 2002
Published online: April 15, 2003
AIM: To evaluate the effects of tributyrin, a pro-drug of natural butyrate and a neutral short-chain fatty acid triglyceride, on the growth inhibition of human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cell.
METHODS: Human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells were exposed to tributyrin at 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 50 mmol·L-1 for 24-72 h. MTT assay was applied to detect the cell proliferation. [3H]-TdR uptake was measured to determine DNA synthesis. Apoptotic morphology was observed by electron microscopy and Hoechst-33258 staining. Flow cytometry and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay were performed to detect tributyrin-triggered apoptosis. The expressions of PARP, Bcl-2 and Bax were examined by Western blot assay.
RESULTS: Tributyrin could initiate growth inhibition of SGC-7901 cell in a dose- and time-dependent manner. [3H]-TdR uptake by SGC-7901 cells was reduced to 33.6% after 48 h treatment with 2 mmol·L-1 tributyrin, compared with the control (P < 0.05). Apoptotic morphology was detected by TUNEL assay. Flow cytometry revealed that tributyrin could induce apoptosis of SGC-7901 cells in dose-dependent manner. After 48 hours incubation with tributyrin at 2 mmol·L-1, the level of Bcl-2 protein was lowered, and the level of Bax protein was increased in SGC-7901, accompanied by PARP cleavage.
CONCLUSION: Tributyrin could inhibit the growth of gastric cancer cells effectively in vitro by inhibiting DNA synthesis and inducing apoptosis, which was associated with the down-regulated Bcl-2 expression and the up-regulated Bax expression. Therefore, tributyrin might be a promising chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agent against human gastric carcinogenesis.