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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1112-1118

Insufficient radiofrequency ablation promotes epithelial–mesenchymal transition mediated by interleukin-6/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3/Snail pathway in the H22 cells

1 Department of Interventional Medicine, The Second Hospital of Shandong University; Interventional Oncology Institute of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, CN–250033, PR of China
2 Department of Oncology, The Third Hospital of Qinhuangdao, Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province, China

Correspondence Address:
Yuliang Li
Department of Interventional Medicine, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, 247 Beiyuan Road, Jinan 250033, Shandong Province; Interventional Oncology Institute of Shandong University, Jinan 250033, Shandong Province
PR of China
Zhaomin Song
Department of Oncology, The Third Hospital of Qinhuangdao, 222 Jianguo Road, Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_12_20

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Context: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), an established and minimally invasive therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma, has become an important treatment strategy. However, tumor aggressiveness remains a common problem. The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is thought to play an important role in this process. Design and Aims: Due to limited sample volumes harvested from patients, we established a heat-treated cell line and a mouse model to investigate the mechanisms of incomplete ablation in EMT. Materials and Methods: We heat-treated H22 and HepG2 cells using a water bath to determine a suitable temperature for incomplete RFA. Male BALB/c mice were orthotopically transplanted with H22 cells and then subjected to incomplete ablation. Changes in the EMT biomarkers were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction, western blotting, and immunofluorescence. Statistical Analysis: The experimental results are expressed as means ± standard deviations. Results: Incomplete RFA promoted EMT, downregulated E-cadherin, upregulated vimentin and Snail, and enhanced the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, interleukin (IL)-6 secretion increased after heat treatment in the H22 cells. AG490, an IL-6 inhibitor, inhibited the occurrence of EMT. Conclusions: Insufficient ablation performed at low temperature successfully induces EMT and promotes tumor aggressiveness, which is mediated by the IL-6/STAT3/Snail pathway in both cell and mouse models.

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