Background: Carbon monoxide, the gaseous product of heme oxygenase, is a signalling molecule with a broad spectrum of biological activities. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of carbon monoxide on proliferation of human pancreatic cancer.
Methods: In vitro studies were performed on human pancreatic cancer cells (CAPAN-2, BxPc3, and PaTu-8902) treated with a carbon monoxide-releasing molecule or its inactive counterpart, or exposed to carbon monoxide gas (500 ppm/24 h). For in vivo studies, pancreatic cancer cells (CAPAN-2/PaTu-8902) were xenotransplanted subcutaneously into athymic mice, subsequently treated with carbon monoxide-releasing molecule (35 mg/kg b.w. i.p./day), or exposed to safe doses of carbon monoxide (500 ppm 1 h/day; n = 6 in each group).
Results: Both carbon monoxide-releasing molecule and carbon monoxide exposure significantly inhibited proliferation of human pancreatic cancer cells (p <0.05). A substantial decrease in Akt phosphorylation was observed in carbon monoxide-releasing molecule compared with inactive carbon monoxide-releasing molecule treated cancer cells (by 30-50%, p <0.05). Simultaneously, carbon monoxide-releasing molecule and carbon monoxide exposure inhibited tumour proliferation and microvascular density of xenotransplanted tumours (p <0.01), and doubled the survival rates (p <0.005). Exposure of mice to carbon monoxide led to an almost 3-fold increase in carbon monoxide content in tumour tissues (p = 0.006).
Conclusion: These data suggest a new biological function for carbon monoxide in carcinogenesis, and point to the potential chemotherapeutic/chemoadjuvant use of carbon monoxide in pancreatic cancer. (C) 2013 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Anticancer effects
- Heme catabolic pathway
- Heme oxygenase
- NITRIC-OXIDE SYNTHASE
- MEDIATED ANGIOGENESIS
- HEME OXYGENASE-1