Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression and prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) secretion are increased in prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) and prostate cancer. PGE(2) biosynthesis by cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 plays a pivotal role in inflammation and carcinogenesis. One of the critical proinflammatory cytokines in the prostate is interleukin-6 (IL-6). We hypothesized that increased expression of COX-2, with resultant increased levels of PGE(2) in human PIN cells, activates the IL-6 signaling pathway. We demonstrate an autocrine upregulation of PGE(2) mediated by IL-6 in a human PIN cell line. We further demonstrate that PGE(2) stimulates soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) release, gp130 dimerization, Stat-3 protein phosphorylation, and DNA binding activity. These events, induced by PGE(2), lead to increased PIN cell growth. Treatment of PIN cells with a selective COX-2 inhibitor decreases cell growth. Finally, PGE(2)-stimulated PIN cell growth was abrogated by the addition of IL-6 neutralizing antibodies. These data provide mechanistic evidence that increased expression of COX-2/PGE(2) contributes to prostate cancer development and progression via activation of the IL-6 signaling pathway.
(c)2002 Elsevier Science.