DNA synthesis after combined treatment with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil of a mouse ascites tumor growing in vivo

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We examined whether an increase in the salvage and/or the de novo synthesis of thymidine (TdR) can explain the elevated DNA synthesis rate found up to 15–20 h after combined treatment with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), compared with single-drug regimen. The salvage and the de novo pathways of TdR in Bp8 mouse ascites tumor cells were reduced equally after the combined treatment and the single-drug treatments. The inhibition of the de novo pathway of TdR was confirmed by a reduced thymidylate synthase activity, as measured in cell extract. A marked imbalance of the deoxyriboucleotide triphosphates were found, in particular between the deoxypyrimidines. These imbalances were similar between the 5-FU single-drug treatment and combined treatment. We conclude that neither the extracellular TdR salvage nor the de novo synthesis of TdR explain the relatively elevated DNA synthesis rate after combined treatment. We suggest that the supra-additive effect of the combined treatment is due to an interaction between the elevated DNA synthesis, the imbalanced deoxyribonucleotides and the cisplatin-induced DNA cross-links, and possibly also due to a higher concentration of 5-FU incorporated into DNA.

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