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Open Access Research article

Gastric cancer cell supernatant causes apoptosis and fibrosis in the peritoneal tissues and results in an environment favorable to peritoneal metastases, in vitro and in vivo

Di Na1, Zhi-Dong Lv1, Fu-Nan Liu1, Yan Xu1, Cheng-Gang Jiang1, Zhe Sun1, Zhi-Feng Miao1, Feng Li2 and Hui-Mian Xu1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, 110001, Liaoning Province, China

2 Department of Cell Biology, China Medical University, Shenyang, 110001, Liaoning Province, China

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BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:34  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-34

Published: 20 April 2012



In this study, we examined effects of soluble factors released by gastric cancer cells on peritoneal mesothelial cells in vitro and in vivo.


HMrSV5, a human peritoneal mesothelial cell line, was incubated with supernatants from gastric cancer cells. Morphological changes of HMrSV5 cells were observed. Apoptosis of HMrSV5 cells was observed under a transmission electron microscope and quantitatively determined by MTT assay and flow cytometry. Expressions of apoptosis-related proteins (caspase-3, caspase-8, Bax, bcl-2) were immunochemically evaluated.


Conspicuous morphological changes indicating apoptosis were observed in HMrSV5 cells 24 h after treatment with the supernatants of gastric cancer cells. In vivo, peritoneal tissues treated with gastric cancer cell supernatant were substantially thickened and contained extensive fibrosis.


These findings demonstrate that supernatants of gastric cancer cells can induce apoptosis and fibrosis in HMrSV5 human peritoneal mesothelial cells through supernatants in the early peritoneal metastasis, in a time-dependent manner, and indicate that soluble factors in the peritoneal cavity affect the morphology and function of mesothelial cells so that the resulting environment can become favorable to peritoneal metastases.

Peritoneal carcinomatosis; Stomach neoplasms; Mesothelial cell; Apoptosis; Fibrosis