Distribution and tumour cytotoxicity of the radiosensitizer misonidazole (Ro-07-0582) in C57 mice


The distribution and clearance of misonidazole (MIS = Ro-07-0582) were studied in C57 mouse tissues and in transplants of Lewis lung tumour. The half life of the drug in blood after a dose of 1 mg/g i.p. was 3 h. Some tissues, such as liver, were found to have consistently low MIS levels, and this was found to be due to degradation of the drug after removal of the tissues from the host. The in vivo cytotoxicity of MIS to Lewis lung tumour cells was studied using an in-vitro colony assay. After half of the tumours had been irradiated with 10 Gy to kill most of the oxic cells, the mice received i.p. injections of MIS. To simulate the longer drug exposure of human tumour cells (due to the longer half life in man) a repeated injection regime was used in some mice. There was no significant cell kill after a single dose, but with a prolonged exposure to the drug in the multiply injected animals, cell survival was reduced to 50% of control in both the irradiated and unirradiated tumours. Since the hypoxic fraction of the unirradiated tumour is probably not more than 30%, it would appear that MIS is not selectively cytotoxic to hypoxic cells. However, MIS had a much greater cytotoxic effect upon hypoxic Lewis lung tumour cells in vitro, with very little or no effect on cells grown in air. This would support the theory that the presence of hypoxic cells is essential for the expression of MIS cytotoxicity.

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Pedersen, J., Smith, M., Bugden, R. et al. Distribution and tumour cytotoxicity of the radiosensitizer misonidazole (Ro-07-0582) in C57 mice. Br J Cancer 39, 429–433 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.1979.76

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