Purpose: New nitric oxide (NO) donating nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been synthesized to counteract the side effects of conventional NSAIDs. Mounting evidence suggests that NSAIDs may have a possible chemopreventative/therapeutic role in prostate cancer. NO is a powerful biological messenger with multiple cellular effects. We established the effects of 2 of these new drugs in prostate cell systems.
Materials and methods: We studied the effects of NO-ibuprofen (NCX 2111) and NO-aspirin (NCX 4060) on hormone sensitive (LNCap) and insensitive (PC3) prostate cancer epithelial cell lines as well as primary cultures of prostatic stroma. Proliferation was measured using the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazalium bromide) assay to examine proliferation. Subsequently flow cytometry, cell cycle analysis and TUNEL staining were used to look for apoptosis. Caspase-3 expression was also examined in treated cell types.
Results: NCX 2111 and NCX 4060 were found to be potent inhibitors of proliferation in a dose dependent fashion. The 2 drugs induced apoptosis, as seen by flow cytometry, cell cycle analysis and TUNEL staining, at doses between 10 and 100 microM. These NO-NSAIDs increased caspase-3 expression. NCX 4060 was more effective at lower concentrations (10 microM) but each compound was much more potent than conventional ibuprofen and aspirin at inducing apoptosis and inhibiting proliferation.
Conclusions: NO-NSAIDs are potent antiproliferative pro-apoptotic compounds in prostate cell systems. This pro-apoptotic effect is mediated via caspase-3 and it is independent of the type of prostate cell used. These findings have ramifications for the use of these new drugs in prostate cancer chemoprevention or treatment.