To investigate whether mdr1 gene products are involved in conferring the chemoresistant phenotype to human colorectal carcinomas (HCCs), we determined the mdr1 mRNA expression level (mdr1 EL) in surgical specimens from 29 pharmacologically untreated patients and analyzed the relationship between mdr1 EL and drug resistance in an in vitro experimental model. This consisted of 7 HCC cell lines chosen to cover the range of mdr1 ELs detected in the neoplastic specimens. No relationship was observed between the mdr1 EL of the HCC cell lines and the degree of chemosensitivity found for each drug tested, regardless of whether mdr1 gene products may [doxorubicin (DOX), vincristine (VCR), and actinomycin-D (ACTD)] or may not affect [cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (CDDP)] drug-transmembrane equilibria. Conversely, a direct relationship was found between the mdr1 EL of HCC cell lines and the number of drug-resistant (DR) colonies arising from each parent cell line treated in continuous culture with high DOX concentrations. In addition, the chemoresistance index and mdr1 EL of the DR cell variants were roughly proportional to the mdr1 EL of the parent cell line. Our findings suggest that primary HCCs derive multidrug resistance from biochemical mechanism(s) other than mdr1 gene products. However, the mdr1 EL might be indicative of a predisposition to develop DR cell variants after chemotherapeutic treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research