Endocannabinoid signaling has been shown to be enhanced in several cancer tissues and malignant cells, and studies in cell lines have shown that this up-regulation might serve the purpose of providing transformed cells with a further means to inhibit their proliferation. Here we investigated the effect of inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation on the growth of rat thyroid tumor xenografts induced in athymic mice. VDM-11, a selective inhibitor of endocannabinoid cellular re-uptake, and arachidonoyl- serotonin (AA-5-HT), a selective blocker of endocannabinoid enzymatic hydrolysis, both inhibited the growth in vivo of tumor xenografts induced by the subcutaneous injection of rat thyroid transformed (KiMol) cells. This effect was accompanied by significantly enhanced endocannabinoid concentrations in the tumors excised at the end of the in vivo experiments. Endocannabinoids, as well as VDM-11 and AA-5-HT, inhibited the growth in vitro of the transformed rat thyroid cells used to induce the tumors in vivo, and their effect was reversed at least in part by the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist SR141716A. This compound, however, when administered alone, did not enhance, but instead slightly inhibited, the growth of rat thyroid transformed cells both in vitro and in tumor xenografts induced in vivo. These findings indicate that endocannabinoids tonically control tumor growth in vivo by both CB(1)-mediated and non-CB(1)-mediated mechanisms and that, irrespective of the molecular mechanism of their anti-proliferative action, inhibitors of their inactivation might be used for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs.

A new strategy to block tumor growth by inhibiting endocannabinoid inactivation

BIFULCO, Maurizio;
2004

Abstract

Endocannabinoid signaling has been shown to be enhanced in several cancer tissues and malignant cells, and studies in cell lines have shown that this up-regulation might serve the purpose of providing transformed cells with a further means to inhibit their proliferation. Here we investigated the effect of inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation on the growth of rat thyroid tumor xenografts induced in athymic mice. VDM-11, a selective inhibitor of endocannabinoid cellular re-uptake, and arachidonoyl- serotonin (AA-5-HT), a selective blocker of endocannabinoid enzymatic hydrolysis, both inhibited the growth in vivo of tumor xenografts induced by the subcutaneous injection of rat thyroid transformed (KiMol) cells. This effect was accompanied by significantly enhanced endocannabinoid concentrations in the tumors excised at the end of the in vivo experiments. Endocannabinoids, as well as VDM-11 and AA-5-HT, inhibited the growth in vitro of the transformed rat thyroid cells used to induce the tumors in vivo, and their effect was reversed at least in part by the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist SR141716A. This compound, however, when administered alone, did not enhance, but instead slightly inhibited, the growth of rat thyroid transformed cells both in vitro and in tumor xenografts induced in vivo. These findings indicate that endocannabinoids tonically control tumor growth in vivo by both CB(1)-mediated and non-CB(1)-mediated mechanisms and that, irrespective of the molecular mechanism of their anti-proliferative action, inhibitors of their inactivation might be used for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/1061466
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