Opioid growth factor inhibits human neuroblastoma cell proliferation in tissue culture

J. Skitzki, P. McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary tumors of the nervous system, particularly neuroblastoma (NB), are the second most common cancer in children under the age of 15 and the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in adolescents and adults aged 15-34. An endogenous opioid, [Met5]-enkephalin, opioid growth factor (OGF), is known to be a direct acting, tonically active inhibitory agent of murine NB and a variety of non-neural human cancers in vivo and in vitro. This study examined the role of OGF on human NB grown in tissue culture. SK-N-SH cells were plated in 75 cm2 flasks and allowed to grow for 24 hr. At that time, 10-6M OGF or sterile water were added to the cultures; media and drugs were changed daily. Cells were harvested, stained with trypan blue, and counted using a hemacytometer at 12, 24, 48, and 72 hr following drug or vehicle administration. Growth of NB cells was inhibited 12% to 28% from control levels at all times. OGF action was dose-related, non-cytotoxic, and mediated by an opioid receptor. Furthermore, growth inhibition by OGF was reversible when peptide was removed and replaced with fresh media. These results suggest that OGF has a direct, tonic, inhibitory action on the growth of human NB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A108
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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