Background: Matrix-metalloproteinases (MMP) and cancer cell invasion are crucial for solid tumour metastasis. Important signalling events triggered by inflammatory cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα), include Src-kinase-dependent activation of Akt and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and phosphorylation of caveolin-1. Based on previous studies where we demonstrated amide-type local anaesthetics block TNFα-induced Src activation in malignant cells, we hypothesized that local anaesthetics might also inhibit the activation and/or phosphorylation of Akt, FAK and caveolin-1, thus attenuating MMP release and invasion of malignant cells.
Methods: NCI-H838 lung adenocarcinoma cells were incubated with ropivacaine or lidocaine (1 nM-100 µM) in absence/presence of TNFα (20 ng ml(-1)) for 20 min or 4 h, respectively. Activation/phosphorylation of Akt, FAK and caveolin-1 were evaluated by Western blot, and MMP-9 secretion was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Tumour cell migration (electrical wound-healing assay) and invasion were also assessed.
Results: Ropivacaine (1 nM-100 μM) and lidocaine (1-100 µM) significantly reduced TNFα-induced activation/phosphorylation of Akt, FAK and caveolin-1 in NCI-H838 cells. MMP-9 secretion triggered by TNFα was significantly attenuated by both lidocaine and ropivacaine (half-maximal inhibitory concentration [IC50]=3.29×10(-6) M for lidocaine; IC50=1.52×10(-10) M for ropivacaine). The TNFα-induced increase in invasion was completely blocked by both lidocaine (10 µM) and ropivacaine (1 µM).
Conclusions: At clinically relevant concentrations both ropivacaine and lidocaine blocked tumour cell invasion and MMP-9 secretion by attenuating Src-dependent inflammatory signalling events. Although determined entirely in vitro, these findings provide significant insight into the potential mechanism by which local anaesthetics might diminish metastasis.
Keywords: anesthetics, local; inflammation; neoplasm metastasis.
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