Umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells induce apoptosis in PC-3 prostate cancer cells through activation of JNK and downregulation of PI3K/AKT signaling.
Though mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have antitumor potential in hepatocellular carcinoma and breast cancer cells, the anti-tumor mechanism of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) in prostate cancer cells still remains unclear. Thus, in the present study, we elucidated the antitumor activity of hUCMSCs in PC-3 prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.
hUCMSCs were isolated from Wharton’s jelly of umbilical cord and characterized via induction of differentiations, osteogenesis and adipogenesis. Antitumor effects of UCMSCs on tumor growth were evaluated in a co-culture condition with PC-3 prostate cancer cells. PC-3 cells were subcutaneously (sc) injected into the left flank of nude mice and UCMSCs were sc injected into the right flank of the same mouse.
We found that hUCMSCs inhibited the proliferation of PC-3 cells in the co-culture condition. Furthermore, co-culture of hUCMSCs induced the cleavage of caspase 9/3 and PARP, activated c-jun NH2-terminal kinases (JNK) and Bax and attenuated the phosphorylation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/ AKT, extracellular signal regulated kinases (ERK) and the expression of survival genes such as Bcl-2, Bcl-XL, Survivin, Mcl-1 and cIAP-1 in PC-3 cells in Western blotting assay. Conversely, we found that treatment of specific JNK inhibitor SP600125 suppressed the cleavages of caspase 9/ 3 and PARP induced by hUCMSCs in PC-3 cells by Western blotting and immunofluorescence assay. The homing of hUCMSCs to, and TUNEL positive cells on, the K562 xenograft tumor region were detected in Nu/nu-BALB/c mouse.
These results suggest that UCMSCs inhibit tumor growth and have the antitumor potential for PC-3 prostate cancer treatment.