Background: To study gastric epithelial cell migration during nitric oxide (NO) and growth factor treatment, simulating inflammation and infection. Also, the effects of estrogen on migration of different malignant and nonmalignant gastric epithelial cell lines were explored.
Material and methods: Isolated primary cultured rabbit gastric epithelial cells, rat gastric mucosal cells, human gastric adenocarcinoma cells, and human colon adenocarcinoma cells (WiDr) were cultured to confluency in appropriate media (5% CO2, 37 degrees C). The cells were treated by hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) and keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), with and without sodium nitroprusside (SNP, NO donor) or 17beta-estradiol. Caspase-3 activity and cell viability and migration speed after wounding were measured.
Results: HGF was the most potent growth factor to stimulate migration. SNP dose-dependently decreased the speed of migration. HGF and TGF-alpha were able to overcome the SNP-induced inhibition of migration, whereas KGF was not. SNP also induced caspase-3 activity, which was inhibited by HGF and TGF-alpha. 17beta-estradiol decreased migration in all epithelial cells, but the decrease was more profound in malignant cell lines. HGF could overcome the estrogen retarded migration.
Conclusions: Growth factors can overcome NO-induced retardation of cell migration and inhibit NO-induced caspase-3 activity, which altogether might also have physiological significance in in vivo inflammation and in gastric cancer. The more profound decrease in migration speed of gastric adenocarcinoma cell line may suggest that estrogen might be one of the protective factor against female gastric adenocarcinoma before menopausal age.