The inhibitory effect of an EGF receptor-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor on pancreatic cancer cell lines was more potent than inhibitory antibodies against the receptors for EGF and IGF I

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Epidermal growth factor (EGF) increased the cell number of the two pancreatic cancer cell lines, MiaPaCa-2 and LN-36, in vitro. A blockade of the EGF-R tyrosine kinase with tyrphostin was more efficient in reducing the cell number than inhibiting receptor antibodies. IGF-1 increased the cell number, and blockade of the IGF-1-R initially decreased the cell number that later was followed by an increase in LN-36.


The receptors and ligands of EGF and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are overexpressed in pancreatic cancer tissue. The aim of the present experiments was to study the effects of EGF and IGF-1 on the cell number in two pancreatic cancer cell lines.

Material and Methods.

MiaPaCa-2 cells were grown in 0.2% fetal calf serum (FCS) and the newly established LN-36 cells in serum-free medium (SFM). The cell number was measured with the XTT method. The effects of EGF and IGF-1 were studied in combination with inhibiting receptor antibodies and an EGF-R-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor, tyrphostin B56.


MiaPaCa-2 responded with increased cell number to stimulation with EGF, and at 10-8M or higher concentrations a dose-response pattern was seen. Administration of B56 to MiaPaCa-2 decreased the cell number by 87%. The inhibiting EGF-R-Ab only inhibited EGF-induced increase in cell number. IGF-1 doubled the cell number of MiaPaCa-2 and increased the cell growth induced by EGF. The inhibiting IGF-1-R-Ab reduced the cell number by 10%. The LN-36 cell line responded to EGF with an increased cell number with a maximum at 5×10-9M after 96 h. B56 reduced the cell number by 90% at 10-5M, with less effect during stimulation with EGF. In contrast to B56, the inhibiting EGF-R-Ab in the same experiment did not reduce the cell number. LN-36 responded to IGF-1 with an increased cell number, but EGF-stimulated growth was not influenced. The inhibiting IGF-1-R-Ab reduced the cell number and suppressed the IGF-1 stimulated increase after 24 h and later it induced an increased cell number.

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