Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor NS-398 suppresses cell growth and constitutive production of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor and granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor in lung cancer cells

Hideshi Nakata, Yoshiki Uemura, Makoto Kobayashi, Ryoji Harada, Hirokuni Taguchi
Cancer Science 2003, 94 (2): 173-80
We previously established two lung cancer cell lines, OKa-C-1 and MI-4, which constitutively produce abundant granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin (IL)-1beta stimulated the expression of G-CSF, GM-CSF, and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 in the two cell lines. It is known that increased COX-2 activity promotes tumor growth and induces G-CSF and GM-CSF expression in non-malignant cells, and that selective COX-2 inhibitors inhibit the growth of some types of malignant cells. Therefore, we hypothesized that inhibition of COX-2 activity might suppress constitutive production of G-CSF or GM-CSF in addition to reducing the growth of malignant cells. We confirmed that the selective COX-2 inhibitor, NS-398 suppressed the constitutive production of G-CSF and GM-CSF, and the cell growth in both OKa-C-1 and MI-4 cell lines. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) reversed the inhibitions of G-CSF and GM-CSF expression, as well as cell growth, by NS-398. This result confirms that the effects of NS-398 are based on the inhibition of COX activity. Some studies have indicated that nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) or MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) activation is related to upregulation of G-CSF, GM-CSF or COX-2 expression in some types of cells. Therefore, we examined if the actions of NS-398 might be mediated by the MAP kinase pathway or NF-kappaB activity in OKa-C-1 and MI-4 cells. We found that NS-398 inhibits G-CSF and GM-CSF production and cell growth through an extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase (MEK) signaling pathway in these cell lines. The prognosis of non-small cell lung cancer showing G-CSF gene expression is significantly worse. G-CSF overproduction by tumor cells is observed at an advanced clinical stage. Our findings imply that a COX-2 inhibitor might improve the prognosis of patients with lung cancer through the reduction of G-CSF or GM-CSF.

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