Results of previous studies have shown that the VX2 carcinoma in rabbits synthesizes large amounts of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). PGE2 secreted by the tumor is rapidly metabolized and can be measured in plasma as the metabolite 13,14-dihydro-15-keto-PGE2 (PGE2-M). We have previously proposed that the hypercalcemia that occurs in rabbits bearing the VX2 carcinoma is due to excessive secretion of PGE2 by the tumor and its subsequent action on the skeleton as a bone resorption-stimulating factor. In the course of these studies, we noted that the plasma of rabbits bearing the VS2 carcinoma became blue about 1 wk after tumor implantation. The intensity of the color increased markedly thereafter. We therefore measured ceruloplasmin in plasma by both chemical and immunological assay methods. Plasma ceruloplasmin and PGE2-M rose in parallel (within 7-10 days) and preceded by 7-10 days the development of hypercalcemia. 2 wk after tumor implantation, plasma PGE2-M and ceruloplasmin had risen about 20- and 6-fold, respectively, while the rise in plasma calcium was just beginning. Indomethacin, an inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis, given from the time of tumor implantation prevented completely the hypercalcemia and largely inhibited the rise in ceruloplasmin. When given after hyperprostaglandinemia had developed, indomethacin produced a fall in both PGE2-M and ceruloplasmin. A rise in plasma haptoglobin concentrations similar to that seen for ceruloplasmin was also observed. No changes in plasma albumin concentrations occurred. We conclude that the acute phase reactants ceruloplasmin and haptoglobin rise rapidly in the plasma of rabbits bearing the VX2 carcinoma, and that this increase is related to arachidonic acid metabolism in these animals. It is possible that arachidonic acid metabolites also play a role in the elevations of these two plasma proteins observed in certain patients with malignant tumors.

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