Modulation of murine neuroblastoma in nude mice by opioid antagonists

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Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, had an inhibitory effect on the growth of murine S20Y neuroblastoma in BALB/c nude mice. Daily injections of 0.1 mg naltrexone/kg, which invoked a receptor blockade for 6-8 hours/day, resulted in 31-92% delay in latency time prior to tumor expression and a 27-49% increase in mean survival time; the magnitude of antitumor response was governed by tumor burden. Inoculation of neuroblastoma (106-2.5 x 104 cells) resulted in measurable tumors in 10-13 days and mean survival times of 30-34 days. Immunoreactive β-endorphin was detected in tumor tissue (39.7 pg/mg protein). Receptor binding assays revealed specific saturable binding of ligands related to δ- and κ-binding sites, but not for the μ-binding site. These results demonstrate that opioid antagonist modulation of neuro-oncogenesis is not dependent on the integrity of T-cell-mediated immunity and suggest the feasibility of utilizing the nude mouse model in exploring the role of endogenous opioids in human cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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