Inhibitory effect of IL-6-induced neuroendocrine cells on prostate cancer cell proliferation

Prostate. 2004 Nov 1;61(3):253-9. doi: 10.1002/pros.20106.


Background: The role of increased neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation in prostate cancer (PCA) is not well understood. Long-term exposure of the prostate cancer cell line LNCaP to high concentrations of the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) results in permanent transdifferentiation of these cells into a NE phenotype. In this study, we evaluated the effect of IL-6-induced NE cells on the growth of the PCA cell lines LNCaP, PC-3, and DU-145 in vitro.

Results: Co-culture of NE cells with PCA cells significantly inhibited DNA synthesis in all three PCA cell lines by 30-90% compared to controls. NE cell co-culture resulted in an increased percentage of PCA cells arrested in the S-phase of cell cycle and PCA cell apoptosis.

Conclusions: Our results imply that NE cells suppress the proliferation of surrounding PCA cells by release of inhibitory factors.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor / cytology
  • Cell Line, Tumor / drug effects
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Neurosecretory Systems / cytology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms*
  • S Phase / drug effects


  • Interleukin-6