Human prostatic tumor cells in culture produce growth and differentiation factors active on osteoblasts: a new biological and clinical parameter for prostatic carcinoma

Festuccia, C.; Teti, A.; Bianco, P.; Guerra, F.; Vicentini, C.; Tennina, R.; Villanova, I.; Sciortino, G.; Bologna, M.

Oncology Research 9(8): 419-431


ISSN/ISBN: 0965-0407
PMID: 9436195
Accession: 008790328

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Prostate cancer (PRCA) cells metastasize to bone with high frequency, inducing typical osteosclerotic lesions. To establish if local stimuli on the bone tissue may derive from metastatic colonies of prostatic origin, we evaluated the biologic activities secreted by human prostatic epithelium and effective on osteoblast-like cells in vitro. Supernatant from short-term tissue cultures of human prostatic tissue samples obtained from PRCA (35 cases) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, 12 cases) patients were applied to three models of cells with osteoblastic phenotype: two normal (rabbit osteoblasts (OB) and rat periosteal cells (PO)) and one transformed (human osteosarcoma cell line, MG63). Proliferative activity was monitored through enzymatic reduction of tetrazolium salts and expressed as relative mitogenic activities (RMA). Analysis of proliferation and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, a marker of osteoblast function, demonstrates that conditioned media (CM) from PRCA cultures stimulate both growth and activity of osteoblast-like cells to a greater extent compared to CM from BPH. Furthermore, cell growth and activity of osteoblast-like cells are progressively increased by CM derived from patients with stage B (tumor confined within the prostate capsule), stage C (locally invasive tumor), and stage D (invasive tumor with distant metastasis) disease. One of the mechanisms potentially underlying the CM-stimulated effects on bone cells is associated with the urokinase (uPA) enzyme route, whose release progressively increases with the stage of disease. However, antibodies against uPA and p-aminobenzamidine (a low molecular weight urokinase inhibitor) treatment, which both inhibit the proliferative and differentiative effects induced by exogenous urokinase, partially slow down the effects of CM from PRCA tissue cultures, suggesting that additional factors are secreted by prostatic tumor cells in vitro. In conclusion, we show that the mitogenic and differentiative activities for osteoblasts produced by prostatic tumor cells in short-term tissue cultures are related to PRCA stage and may predict the behavior of skeletal metastases in single cases of tumor. In addition, the culture methods used may represent a valid model to study prostatic and bone cellular interactions, which may indicate new therapeutic approaches in metastatic prostate tumors.