Enhanced cancer metastasis after monocrotaline-induced lung injury Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The lung is a target in several models of environmentally induced injury and is also a common site for the growth of metastases from circulating cancer cells. In these experiments, we have tested the hypothesis that pulmonary damage can facilitate the metastasis of cancer to the lung. We have studied the effect of monocrotaline-induced lung injury on the retention and metastasis of intravenously injected Walker carcinosarcoma 256 cells in the lung and the effect of this injury on spontaneous metastasis in animals with intramuscular tumor transplants. Female Wistar rats were given a single subcutaneous injection of monocrotaline (60 mg/kg). The degree of lung injury after monocrotaline was assessed by bronchoalveolar lavage, by histological and ultrastructural examination, and by measurement of right ventricular hypertrophy. To assess the effects of monocrotaline on metastasis, animals were injected iv with 2 X 10(7) [125I]iododeoxyuridine-labeled or unlabeled Walker 256 carcinosarcoma cells at various periods of time (1 day to 20 days) after monocrotaline. The retention of labeled cells was determined by gamma counts of lungs 24 hr after injection. There was a direct correlation between the severity of lung injury and the number of cancer cells retained in the lung 24 hr after injection. Metastasis was quantified by morphometric analysis of histologic sections prepared from lungs 1 week after an injection of unlabeled cells. The median area of lung involved by tumor after iv injection was 39% for rats injected with cancer cells 10 days after monocrotaline vs 3% for controls. In studies on spontaneous metastasis, rats were given an intramuscular injection of Walker 256 cells 5 days after monocrotaline and metastasis was quantified by morphometry 7 days after tumor transplantation. The median tumor burden of animals pretreated with monocrotaline was 37% vs 8% for controls. We conclude that lung injury initiated by monocrotaline can facilitate the spread of the rat Walker 256 carcinosarcoma.


  • Vincic, Lydia
  • Orr, F William
  • Warner, Deborah JA
  • Suyama, Kaye L
  • Kay, John

publication date

  • September 1989