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Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol) enhances paclitaxel antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo and accelerates paclitaxel-induced apoptosis



Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol) enhances paclitaxel antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo and accelerates paclitaxel-induced apoptosis



Clinical Cancer Research 7(4): 1043-1051



We demonstrated that calcitriol has antiproliferative activity in squamous cell carcinoma and prostatic adenocarcinoma and enhances the antitumor activity of platinum-based agents. In this study, we examined whether calcitriol also increases paclitaxel cytotoxicity. The effect of treatment on growth of the murine squamous cell carcinoma (SCCVII/SF) and human prostatic adenocarcinoma (PC-3) was determined by clonogenic assay, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, and monitoring tumor growth. Treatment of SCC or PC-3 cells in vitro with calcitriol prior to paclitaxel significantly reduced clonogenic survival compared with either agent alone. Median-dose effect analysis revealed that calcitriol and paclitaxel interact synergistically. Treatment of SCC or PC-3 tumor-bearing mice with calcitriol prior to paclitaxel resulted in substantially greater growth inhibition than was achieved with either agent alone, supporting the combined use of calcitriol and paclitaxel in the treatment of solid tumors. To explore the molecular basis for the enhanced antitumor activity of this combination, the effect of treatment on p21(Waf-1) (p21), Bcl-2, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase expression was evaluated in PC-3. A 72-h pretreatment with calcitriol reduced p21 expression and increased paclitaxel cytotoxicity (measured after 24 h) without evidence of apoptosis [poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage]. After 48 h, paclitaxel induced apoptosis, the extent of which was increased similarly by pretreatment or concurrent treatment with calcitriol. We therefore propose a model for calcitriol enhancement of paclitaxel cytotoxicity in which the "early" (24 h) effects are schedule dependent and not attributed to enhancement of paclitaxel-induced apoptosis. In contrast, the "delayed" (48-h) enhancement of paclitaxel activity by calcitriol is schedule independent and associated with acceleration of apoptosis.

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Accession: 045423170

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PMID: 11309356


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