Numerous data from published reports prove that the proliferation of gastrointestinal tumour cell lines are under the control of many hormones or growth factors, or both. Most of these publications report the influence on a very small number of cell lines of one or two such factors only. This work deals with the in vitro characterisation of the influence of the anti-gastrin, the anti-epidermal growth factor (EGF), the anti-oestradiol (E2), and the anti-luteinising hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) antibodies on the proliferation of a large series of gastrointestinal cell lines. Cell proliferation was assessed by means of the colorimetric MTT assay on a series of 27 gastrointestinal cell lines obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). Of the 27 cell lines, the anti-gastrin, the anti-EGF, the anti-E2, and the anti-LHRH neutralising antibodies considerably influenced the proliferation of 13, 25, 12, and 16. No gastrointestinal cell line was unresponsive to the four antibodies simultaneously. The anti-gastrin and anti-EGF antibody induced effects on the 27 gastrointestinal cell line proliferation were significantly correlated, as was also the case for the anti-E2 and anti-LHRH antibody induced effects. Of the anti-gastrin, the anti-EGF, the anti-E2, and the anti-LHRH antibodies, it was the anti-EGF one that had the greatest influence, both quantitatively and qualitatively, on gastrointestinal cell proliferation. The correlation of the effects of definite anti-hormone antibodies is suggestive of a common mechanism of action for the corresponding hormones and casts some doubt on the efficiency of anti-hormone monotherapy.
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