2003 Volume 93 Issue 2 Pages 197-203
An in vivo melanoma spontaneous metastases model was adopted to study the molecular mechanisms of the anti-metastatic effect of Taxol. The morphology of melanoma cells in the melanoma tissue lesions was examined by hematoxylin/eosin (H&E) staining and electron microscopy. The in situ programmed cell death was tested by TUNEL analysis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and E-cadherin expression were detected by immunohistochemistry. The metastases suppressor gene nm23 mRNA expression level was analyzed by in situ hybridization. The results showed that i.p. injection of Taxol at 5 mg/kg per day for three weeks significantly inhibited metastases formation in the pulmonary of mice. Taxol induced melanogenesis and apoptosis in the melanoma cells, inhibited angiogenesis in melanoma tissue lesions, and reduced the expression of VEGF. Conversely, Taxol increased the expression of E-cadherin and nm23. In conclusion, administration of Taxol in the early stage of melanoma metastases can significantly inhibit melanoma metastases. This effect was possibly related to apoptosis induction, tumor angiogenesis inhibition, and restoration of the metastasis suppression ability.