Targeting platelet-derived growth factor receptor on endothelial cells of multidrug-resistant prostate cancer

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Kim S., Uehara H., Yazici S., Busby J. E., Nakamura T., He J., ...More

JNCI-JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE, vol.98, no.11, pp.783-793, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Background. Inhibiting phosphorylation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) by treatment with the PDGFR kinase inhibitor imatinib and the chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel reduces the incidence and size of human prostate cancer bone lesions in nude mice. Because tumor cells and tumor-associated endothelial cells express activated PDGFR, the primary target for imatinib has been unclear. Methods: We selected multidrug-resistant human PC-3MM2 prostate cancer cells (termed PC-3MM2-MDR cells) by culturing them in increasing concentrations of paclitaxel. PC-3MM2-MDR cells were implanted into one tibia of 80 nude mice. Two weeks later, the mice were randomly assigned to receive distilled water (control group), paclitaxel, imatinib, or imatinib plus paclitaxel for 10 weeks (20 mice per group). Tumor incidence and weight, bone structure preservation and osteolysis, and the incidence of lymph node metastasis were determined. The phosphorylation status of PDGFR on tumor cells and tumor-associated endothelial cells and levels of apoptosis were examined with immunohistochemical analyses. Microvessel density was assessed as the number of cells expressing CD31/platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1). All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: PC-3MM2-MDR cells were resistant to paclitaxel and imatinib in vitro. Treatment of implanted mice with imatinib plus paclitaxel led to statistically significant decreases in bone tumor incidence (control = 19 mice with tumors of 19 mice total; imatinib plus paclitaxel = four of 18 mice; P <.001), median tumor weight (control = 1.3 g, interquartile range [IQR] = 1.0-1.9; imatinib plus paclitaxel = 0.1 g, IQR = 0-0.3; P <.001), bone lysis, and the incidence of lymph node metastasis (control = 19 of 19 mice total; imatinib plus paclitaxel = three of 18 mice; P <.001). Treatment with imatinib alone had similar effects, and imatinib treatment also inhibited phosphorylation of PDGFR on tumor cells and tumor-associated endothelial cells and increased the level of apoptosis of endothelial cells, but not tumor cells. Treatment with imatinib and more so with imatinib and paclitaxel decreased mean vessel density (three CD31/PECAM-1-positive cells, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0 to 9; and control group = 38 CD31/PECAM-1-positive cells, 95% CI = 17 to 59) (P <.001), which was followed by apoptosis of tumor cells. Conclusion: Tumor-associated endothelial cells, rather than tumor cells themselves, appear to be the target for imatinib in prostate cancer bone metastasis.