We investigated gene expression in N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine (BBN)-induced rat bladder carcinoma in order to test its applicability as a model for the study of novel therapeutic modalities, particularly gene therapy. We administered BBN in the drinking water to Wistar rats for up to 30 wk and induced papillary transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), which is similar to the most prevalent type of human bladder cancer. Tumor evolution was similar to that found in previous studies. However, we described the morphological stages according to modern human bladder carcinoma terminology. Our main goal was to examine the expression levels of the H19 gene, of the insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2) transcripts expressed from promoters P2 and P3 and of the telomerase subunits that we had previously investigated as tools for targeted gene therapy of bladder cancer. We detected at 30 wk of BBN exposure significant upregulation of these sequences in the rat bladder tumors, similar to our previous findings in human bladder cancer. To reinforce the similarity of this model to the corresponding human disease, we searched for additional tumor-specific genes documented as having altered expression in human bladder carcinoma, using cDNA expression arrays (Clontech™). We suggest that BBN-induced rat bladder cancer has morphological, biological, and molecular parallels to human bladder cancer and is an attractive model for studying novel alternatives of therapeutic intervention.
- Insulin-like growth factor 2
- N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl) nitrosamine (BBN)
- cDNA arrays