Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 331–338 | Cite as

Butyrate reduces liver metastasis of rat colon carcinoma cells in vivo and resistance to oxidative stress in vitro

  • Xiaotong Li
  • Idun M. Mikkelsen
  • Bente Mortensen
  • Jan-Olof Winberg
  • Nils-Erik HusebyEmail author


Injection of the rat colon carcinoma cell line CC531 into spleen of syngeneic rats results in considerable amounts of liver metastases within 14 days. We investigated whether preincubation of the cells with butyrate reduced their metastatic ability in vivo and whether this was accompanied by reduction in related properties such as secretion of metalloproteinases and their ability to withstand oxidative stress. Butyrate incubation reduced cell growth rate and initiated apoptosis in a dose and time-related manner, but proliferation was retrieved when cultivation was continued in medium without butyrate. Splenic injection of butyrate treated, proliferating cells resulted in significantly reduced amounts of tumor mass compared to untreated cells. The butyrate treated cells were more susceptible to oxidative stress than control cells, as demonstrated by increased number of apoptotic cells and reduced cell growth after exposure to menadione. A reduction in cellular glutathione was found after prolonged incubation with butyrate. Butyrate appeared not to alter the secretion of active metalloproteinases from the cells although an apparent increase in proforms was demonstrated. Neither did butyrate alter the synthesis of metalloproteinase inhibitors. Lastly, a reduced adhesion of the tumor cells to collagen coated matrix was found after butyrate treatment. Thus, the inhibitory effects of butyrate on tumor malignancy are caused by a diversity of mechanisms.

cultured tumor cells metastatic potential butyrate apoptosis oxidative stress 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaotong Li
    • 1
  • Idun M. Mikkelsen
    • 1
  • Bente Mortensen
    • 1
  • Jan-Olof Winberg
    • 1
  • Nils-Erik Huseby
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Medical BiologyUniversity of TromsøNorway

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