The Role of Acrolein and NADPH Oxidase in the Granulocyte-Mediated Growth-Inhibition of Tumor Cells

Cells. 2019 Mar 29;8(4):292. doi: 10.3390/cells8040292.


: Although granulocytes are the most abundant leukocytes in human blood, their involvement in the immune response against cancer is not well understood. While granulocytes are known for their "oxidative burst" when challenged with tumor cells, it is less known that oxygen-dependent killing of tumor cells by granulocytes includes peroxidation of lipids in tumor cell membranes, yielding formation of reactive aldehydes like 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) and acrolein. In the present work, we investigate the role of reactive aldehydes on cellular redox homeostasis and surface toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expression. We have further study the granulocyte-tumor cell intercellular redox signaling pathways. The data obtained show that granulocytes in the presence of 4-HNE and acrolein induce excessive ROS formation in tumor cells. Acrolein was also shown to induce granulocyte TLR4 expression. Furthermore, granulocyte-mediated antitumor effects were shown to be mediated via HOCl intracellular pathway by the action of NADPH oxidase. However, further studies are needed to understand interaction between TLR4 and granulocyte-tumor cell intercellular signaling pathways.

Keywords: 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE); acrolein; cancer cells; cancer regression; granulocytes; growth control; lipid peroxidation; oxidative burst; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrolein / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Granulocytes / metabolism
  • Granulocytes / pathology*
  • Male
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / metabolism


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Acrolein
  • NADPH Oxidases