Author(s): Wartenberg M, Fischer K, Hescheler J, Sauer H
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Abstract Multicellular prostate tumor spheroids develop intrinsic P-glycoprotein (Pgp)-mediated multidrug resistance with the appearance of quiescent cell areas. We have investigated the effect of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) on Pgp expression in large, quiescent and drug-resistant multicellular spheroids (diameter 250 +/- 50microm). Using the ROS-sensitive fluorescence dye 2;7;-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H(2)DCFDA), we demonstrated that these tumor spheroids are characterized by reduced intracellular ROS compared with drug-sensitive small spheroids (diameter 60 +/- 20microm) consisting predominantly of proliferating cells. The prooxidants hydrogen peroxide, menadione and glyceraldehyde raised ROS in large tumor spheroids and significantly down-regulated Pgp within 24 hr. Comparable effects were achieved with the known Pgp-reversing agents sodium orthovanadate, quinidine and cyclosporin A but not with verapamil. Consequently, the retention and toxicity of the anthracycline doxorubicin was increased in tumor spheroids treated with prooxidants. Co-administration of prooxidants and the free radical scavenger ebselen did not alter Pgp levels, indicating that down-regulation of Pgp is mediated via ROS. Down-regulation of Pgp by H(2)O(2) was abolished when either forskolin, 8-Br-cAMP or IBMX, which raise intracellular cAMP levels, was co-administered, indicating that Pgp expression is regulated by protein kinase A (PKA). Furthermore, Pgp was down-regulated by the PKA inhibitors Rp-cAMPs and H89. Since prooxidants stimulated the growth of multicellular spheroids and down-regulated the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(kip1), we conclude that ROS-mediated Pgp down-regulation may be paralleled by recruitment of drug-resistant quiescent cells in the depth of the tumor tissue for cell-cycle activity. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in Int J Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy