Cell growth inhibition and apoptotic effect of the rexinoid 6-OH-11-O-hydroxyphenantrene on human osteosarcoma and mesenchymal stem cells

Barbara Dozza, Alessio Papi, Enrico Lucarelli, Katia Scotlandi, Michela Pierini, Giuseppina Tresca, Davide Donati, Marina Orlandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Natural derivatives of vitamin A, including all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), commonly known as retinoids, currently produce favorable results in the treatment of many types of tumors. The rexinoid 6-OH-11-O-hydroxyphenantrene (IIF) is a synthetic derivative of ATRA. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that IIF is able to induce growth inhibition of various cancer cells and is a potent apoptosis-inducing agent with clinical potential. Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common type of bone cancer, characterized by a rising aggressiveness. Recent evidences suggest that mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may favour tumor growth and progression. Thus, it is important to investigate whether a compound with potential anti-tumoral properties such as IIF affects not only tumor cells but also MSC. The current study is an attempt to understand the mode of the potential cytotoxicity of IIF on OS cells and MSC. The response to IIF treatment of osteosarcoma SaOS-2, MG63, and U2OS cells and of bone marrow-derived MSC was the subject of investigation. The results showed that IIF significantly inhibited cell growth in OS cell lines and MSC in both a time- and dose-dependent manner, as evaluated by methylene blue assay. This was also associated with altered cell morphology and an increase in cell death with the involvement of apoptosis as demonstrated by NucleoCounter, Hoechst 33342 staining and FACS analysis. No cell death and apoptosis was found in U2OS cells. Analysis of cells treated with 20 and 40 μM IIF for 24. h by western blot suggests the activation of initiator caspase 9, indicating the involvement of caspases in inducing apoptosis. Furthermore, IIF upregulated the expression of the pro-apoptotic protein Bax and downregulated the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl2. For the first time, our results collectively provide an evidence for cell growth inhibition and activation of apoptosis in human OS cells and MSC by IIF. These results confirm that IIF may be an effective compound for anticancer treatment, including that of OS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-149
Number of pages8
JournalToxicology in Vitro
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell growth
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Osteosarcoma cells
  • Retinoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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