1 (Bio-Rad Laboratories). Relative changes of mRNA expression were analyzed with the 2–△△Ct method, with 18S RNA serving as an internal reference. These standardized data were used to calculate fold changes in gene expression. All real-time PCR amplifications were performed in
triplicate. ELISA assay was performed on serum samples taken 21 days post-therapy to determine levels of IL-6 and TGF-β protein in the circulation. Briefly, 96-well microtiter Selleckchem BEZ235 plates (MultiSciences, Hang zhou, China, Catalog No. EK2812; EK2062) were coated with serum from tumor-bearing mouse for 2 hours at 37°C. For TGF-β, serum was acidified with 1 N HCl and then neutralized with 1 N NaOH. Biotinylated secondary antibody was then added to the plates for 1 hour at 37°C. Finally, streptavidin conjugated to HRP was added for 45 minutes at 37°C. Color development was achieved using tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) (MultiSciences, Hang zhou, China) solution for 10 to 15 minutes and then stopped. Optical density was measured at 450 nm. The concentration of IL-6 and TGF-β was calculated by comparison to the standard curve. Comparisons between groups were analyzed by means of one-way analysis of variance. A value of PLX4032 solubility dmso P < .05 was designated as statistical significance. The synergistic antitumor effect of rapamycin and sunitinib on tumor growth was evaluated. Subcutaneous
implantation of 4T1 breast cancer Amino acid cells resulted in large tumors in the untreated group, and the mean tumor volume was 1157.02 ± 138.59 mm3 21 days after implantation. There was limited tumor growth in mice treated with sunitinib alone. Rapamycin monotherapy also significantly reduced the tumor growth. The combination treatment induced a robust delay in
tumor growth, with the tumor volume only 357.81 ± 64.14 mm3 (Figure 1, A and B). As expected, the combination group had the lowest tumor weight ( Figure 1C). In addition, the combinational strategy reduced splenomegaly in 4T1 breast cancer models ( Figure 1D). Together, these data suggested that this combinational strategy was effective to retard tumor progression in animal breast tumor models. To determine the effect of combinational therapy on the tumor vessel density in tumor microenvironment, immunostaining against CD31 was performed. Compared with other groups, tumors in the vehicle group had the most vasculature, with large and tortuous morphology. The combinational strategy could robustly reduce the blood vessel density in the tumor microenvironment (Figure 2, A and B). Though rapamycin or sunitinib monotherapy could also inhibit the microvessle density, both were weaker than the combination treatment ( Figure 2, A and B). Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) have been shown contributing to tumor progression through immunosuppression and proangiogenesis. The quantity of MDSCs in the spleen was assessed with flow cytometry.