The present study explores the potential of the anti-neoplastic action of aspirin in a transplantable murine tumour model of a spontaneously originated T-cell lymphoma designated as Dalton's lymphoma. The antitumour action of aspirin administered to tumour-bearing mice through oral and/or intraperitoneal (intratumoral) routes was measured via estimation of survival of tumour-bearing mice, tumour cell viability, tumour progression and changes in the tumour microenvironment. Intratumour administration of aspirin examined to assess its therapeutic potential resulted in retardation of tumour progression in tumour-bearing mice. Oral administration of aspirin to mice as a prophylactic measure prior to tumour transplantation further primed the anti-neoplastic action of aspirin administered at the tumour site. The anti-neoplastic action of aspirin was associated with a decline in tumour cell survival, augmented induction of apoptosis and nuclear shrinkage. Tumour cells of aspirin-treated mice were found arrested in G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle and showed nuclear localization of cyclin B1. Intratumoral administration of aspirin was accompanied by alterations in the biophysical, biochemical and immunological composition of the tumour microenvironment with respect to pH, level of dissolved O2, glucose, lactate, nitric oxide, IFNγ (interferon γ), IL-4 (interleukin-4), IL-6 and IL-10, whereas the TGF-β (tumour growth factor-β) level was unaltered. Tumour cells obtained from aspirin-treated tumour-bearing mice demonstrated an altered expression of pH regulators monocarboxylate transporter-1 and V-ATPase along with alteration in the level of cell survival regulatory molecules such as survivin, vascular endothelial growth factor, heat-shock protein 70, glucose transporter-1, SOCS-5 (suppressor of cytokine signalling-5), HIF-1α (hypoxia-inducible factor-1α) and PUMA (p53 up-regulated modulator of apoptosis). The study demonstrates a possible indirect involvement of the tumour microenvironment in addition to a direct but limited anti-neoplastic action of aspirin in the retardation of tumour growth.

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