Cancer Science. 2008 Feb 24 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]
Hagiwara Y, Hamada Y, Kuwahara M, Maeda M, Segawa T, Ishikawa K, Hino O.
Immuno-Biological Laboratories, 5-1 Aramachi, Takasaki-Shi, Gunma 370-0831, Japan.
Mesothelioma is a type of malignant tumor that most commonly arises from the pleural or peritoneal membrane and is usually associated with previous exposure to asbestos. In humans, ERC/mesothelin is expressed on the normal mesothelium and in some cancers such as mesothelioma or ovarian carcinoma. Recently, several enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) systems for ERC/mesothelin have been developed, the reported usefulness of which has been assessed and demonstrated as a diagnostic tool. However, the basic roles or physiological functions of, and relationship between, ERC/mesothelin and asbestos exposure-mediated carcinogenesis remain to be resolved. In order to elucidate the precise mechanism, animal models of mesothelioma are desperately needed. In this study, we consider the development of a novel specific ELISA system for not only rat N-ERC/mesothelin but also C-ERC/mesothelin, and the first data on the presence of rat ERC/mesothelin in the body fluids of rat malignant mesothelioma-bearing nude mice. The transplanted mice have revealed the higher concentrations of rat N-ERC/mesothelin in the blood and ascites than C-ERC/mesothelin. We hope these novel ELISA systems are useful in the rat model system to clarify the mechanism of asbestos-induced carcinogenesis and to develop new effective drugs for mesothelioma.