Aquaretic inhibits renal cancer proliferation: Role of vasopressin receptor-2 (V2-R)

Urol Oncol. 2010 Nov-Dec;28(6):642-7. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2008.12.014. Epub 2009 Feb 14.


Vasopressin (AVP) is a hormone with antidiuretic properties that is also involved in cellular proliferation of breast, pulmonary, and pancreatic neoplasias, attributable to the interaction with specific receptors, among which is the V2-R. Using a culture model of CAKI-2 and A498 cancer cells, our study aimed to verify if renal carcinoma cells also express V2-R and whether receptor activation modulates their proliferation. Immunofluorescence and RT-PCR showed that both CAKI-2 and A498 cells effectively synthesize and express the V2-R. Administration of the vasopressin analogue DDAVP induced an evident growth in both CAKI-2 and A498 cell lines. However, this proliferative effect was completely avoided by the preventive addition of the V2-R antagonist SR121463B (satavaptan). Our study shows for the first time that renal cancer may effectively synthesize and express the V2-R. Furthermore, AVP exerts in vitro a proliferative effect by acting on this receptor, as the selective V2-R blockage is able to completely prevent the cellular growth. A validation of these findings with in vivo models is required to ascertain if the eventual presence of V2-R could influence the aggressiveness of human renal neoplasias. From this point of view, a new, interesting therapeutical application of V2-R antagonists in the treatment of renal cancer could also be proposed, similar to that successfully described in the treatment of autosomal polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antidiuretic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin / pharmacology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Receptors, Vasopressin / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Vasopressins / metabolism*


  • Antidiuretic Agents
  • Receptors, Vasopressin
  • Vasopressins
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin