Brown algae phlorotannins enhance the tumoricidal effect of cisplatin and ameliorate cisplatin nephrotoxicity

Yeong-In Yang, Ji-Hye Ahn, Youn Seok Choi, Jung-Hye Choi
Gynecologic Oncology 2015, 136 (2): 355-64

OBJECTIVE: The clinical application of cisplatin is limited due to its drug resistance and side effects. We investigated the effect of a phlorotannin-rich extract from the edible brown alga Ecklonia cava (PREC) and its major phlorotannin (dieckol) on cisplatin responsiveness and side effects.

METHODS: The A2780 and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cell lines and the SKOV3-bearing mouse model were used. The MTT assay was applied to assess cell viability, and the annexin V assay was employed for apoptosis analysis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and protein expression were assessed by H2DCFDA staining and Western blotting, respectively.

RESULTS: We found that PREC enhanced the tumor growth-inhibitory effect of cisplatin and diminished cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity and weight loss in SKOV3-bearing mice. PREC augmented cisplatin-induced apoptosis by activating caspases in SKOV3 and A2780 ovarian cancer cells. In addition, a combination of PREC and cisplatin-induced ovarian cancer cell apoptosis by downregulating the Akt and NFκB pathways. We further demonstrated that PREC increased intracellular ROS and that antioxidants significantly attenuated Akt-NFκB activation and apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. In contrast, PREC inhibited cisplatin-induced ROS production and cell death in normal HEK293 kidney cells. Dieckol, a major compound in PREC, significantly enhanced the inhibition of tumor growth by cisplatin with less weight loss and kidney damage in a mouse model.

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that brown algae phlorotannins may improve the efficacy of platinum drugs for ovarian cancer by enhancing cancer cell apoptosis via the ROS/Akt/NFκB pathway and reduce nephrotoxicity by protecting against normal kidney cell damage.

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