Effects of LHRH agonists on the growth of human prostatic tumor cells: "in vitro" and "in vivo" studies

Montagnani Marelli, M.; Moretti, R.M.; Dondi, D.; Limonta, P.; Motta, M.

Archivio Italiano di Urologia Andrologia Organo Ufficiale di Societa Italiana di Ecografia Urologica e Nefrologica 69(4): 257-263

1997


ISSN/ISBN: 1124-3562
PMID: 9396187
Accession: 045900652

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Abstract
Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone (LHRH) agonists exert both "in vitro" and "in vivo" a direct inhibitory action on the growth of both androgen-dependent (LNCaP) and androgen-independent (DU 145) human prostatic cancer cell lines. The present experiments have been performed to investigate the mechanisms involved in this direct antiproliferative action of LHRH agonists. In particular, the aim was to study whether these compounds might exert their antiproliferative effect by interfering with the stimulatory action of epidermal growth factor (EGF) both "in vitro" and "in vivo". To this purpose, the effects of LHRH agonist, Zoladex (LHRH-A), on the mitogenic action of EGF, on EGF-activated intracellular signaling mechanisms (tyrosine phosphorylation of EGF receptor and c-fos proto-oncogene expression), and on the concentration of EGF receptors have been evaluated in both LNCaP and DU 145 cells. The results of these "in vitro" studies show that in LNCaP cells LHRH-A counteracts the mitogenic action of EGF, abrogates the EGF-induced c-fos expression and reduces the concentration of EGF-binding sites, without modifying the EGF induced tyrosine phosphorylation. In DU 145 cells, LHRH-A antagonizes the proliferative action of EGF, inhibits tyrosine phosphorylation of EGF receptor induced by EGF and significantly reduces the number of EGF binding sites, without altering the stimulation of c-fos expression induced by EGF. For the "in vivo" experiments, male nude mice were s.c. injected in the flank with DU 145 cells and treated for 14 days with LHRH-A (100 micrograms/days). At the end of the treatment, the concentration of EGF receptors on membrane preparations as well as on tumor volume were found to be significantly lower in LHRH-A treated animals than in control mice. The mitotic index and the expression of the proliferation-associated antigen Ki67 were found similar in control as well as in treated animals. In addition no modification of apoptotic index (expression of p53) was observed. These data suggest that LHRH agonists may inhibit the proliferation of the tumor cells by interfering with the stimulatory actions of EGF.