Hong-Wei Lei, Jie Cai, Cheng-Ming Li, Fang Yang, Wan-Qing Shi, Li-Ping Wang, You-Ying Feng
Introduction and aim. To investigate the effect of mTOR inhibitor Rapamycin combined with transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) on the growth, metastasis, and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in rat model. Material and method. McARH7777 cells were used to construct rat models of HCC, which were randomly divided into Model, Rapamycin, TAE, and Rapamycin + TAE groups. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western Blot were used to detect the expression of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT)-related molecules, and immunohistochemical staining to determine the expression of EMTrelated proteins, angiogenic factors as well as microvessel density (MVD)-CD34. Results. The hepatic tumor volume of rats in the other three groups were all significantly smaller than the Model group on the 7th, 14th, and 21st day after treatment and the combination treatment was apparently more effective than either treatment alone. Besides, both the number and the size of metastatic nodules of HCC rats after combination treatment were remarkably reduced. In addition, compared with rats in the Rapamycin + TAE group, N-cadherin, Vimentin, HIF-1α, VEGF, and MVD-CD34 were obviously enhanced, while E-cadherin was lowered in those TAE group, which were the complete opposite to the Rapamycin group. Besides, the median survival time of rats in the Rapamycin + TAE group was evidently longer than the resting groups. Conclusion. Rapamycin combined with TAE may effectively suppress the EMT formation and angiogenesis, thereby inhibiting the growth and lung metastasis of HCC rats, which provides a new idea for countering the recurrence and metastasis of HCC.
Key words. Combination therapy, mTOR, Tumor volume, EMT