2010 Volume 35 Issue 2 Pages 265-270
Expressed in renal carcinoma (ERC)/mesothelin is a good biomarker for human mesothelioma and has been investigated for its mechanistic rationale during the mesothelioma development. Studies are thus ongoing in our laboratories to assess expression of ERC/mesothelin in sera and normal/proliferative/neoplastic mesothelial tissues of animals untreated or given potentially mesothelioma-inducible xenobiotics, by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for N- and C-(terminal fragments of) ERC/mesothelin and immunohistochemistry for C-ERC/mesothelin. In the present paper, we intend to communicate our preliminary data, because this is the first report to show how and from what stage the ERC/mesothelin expression changes during the chemical induction of mesothelial proliferative/neoplatic lesions. Serum N-ERC/mesothelin levels were 51.4 ± 5.6 ng/ml in control male Fischer 344 rats, increased to 83.6 ± 11.2 ng/ml in rats given a single intrascrotal administration of 1 mg/kg body weight of multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) and bearing mesothelial hyperplasia 52 weeks thereafter, and further elevated to 180 ± 77 ng/ml in rats similarly treated and becoming moribund 40 weeks thereafter, or killed as scheduled at the end of week 52, bearing mesothelioma. While C-ERC/mesothelin was expressed in normal and hyperplastic mesothelia, the protein was detected only in epithelioid mesothelioma cells at the most superficial layer. It is thus suggested that ERC/mesothelin can be used as a biomarker of mesothelial proliferative lesions also in animals, and that the increase of levels may start from the early stage and be enhanced by the progression of the mesothelioma development.