Gene Expression Response to Ascorbic Acid in Mice Implanted With Sarcoma S180 Cells

Abstract: In recent years, increasing numbers of studies demonstrated that high-dose ascorbate, which can be achieved by intravenous infusion, has cytotoxic effects on cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. There are many hypotheses of anti-cancer mechanisms of high dose ascorbate including a pro-oxidative mechanism, inhibition of angiogenesis and inflammation, enhancement of the anticancer effect of chemotherapy and reduction of chemotherapy-induced side effects. In addition, in recent years there were studies showing that ascorbic acid has effect on gene expression and epigenetic phenomena. In our study we analyzed, by using animal model, the effect of pharmacological concentrations of ascorbic acid on several gene expressions involved in tumorigenesis. To test the effects of ascorbic acid on gene expression, we treated mice with two different concentrations of ascorbic acid after intraperitoneal administration with sarcoma S-180 cells. The injected doses of ascorbic acid were equivalent to 15 g per 70 kg human and 50 g per 70 kg human. Tissue from tumors, liver and kidney was obtained from mice at the end of three weeks of treatment. The gene expression analysis was computed by real time PCR. The results showed significant difference in expression of gene p53 (p<0.02) in tumor tissue between treated and non-treated groups, and reduction of p53 gene expression by size and spreading of tumors. Ascorbate therapy significantly increased expression of NRF2. The experimental data showed that the maximum ascorbate dosage reduced expression of the tumor promoting gene HIF. The dependence of gene expression on the size of tumors was found for P53, HIF and NF-kB. In summary, the results of our study demonstrated that ascorbate therapy had a significant effect on the expression of several genes relevant to the development or inhibition of cancer. Reduced expression of tumor promoting genes as HIF and increased expression of tumor suppression genes such as p53 support the hypothesis that ascorbic acid can act as a potential agent for the suppression of tumor development.