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12.05.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2017

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 6/2017

Reversing glioma malignancy: a new look at the role of antidepressant drugs as adjuvant therapy for glioblastoma multiforme

Zeitschrift:
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology > Ausgabe 6/2017
Autoren:
Anna M. Bielecka-Wajdman, Marta Lesiak, Tomasz Ludyga, Aleksander Sieroń, Ewa Obuchowicz
Wichtige Hinweise
This work was supported by a Grant from the School of Medicine, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland (KNW-2-016/N/4/K).

Abstract

Purpose

The role of glioma stem cells (GSCs) in cancer progression is currently debated; however, it is hypothesised that this subpopulation is partially responsible for therapeutic resistance observed in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Recent studies have shown that the current treatments not only fail to eliminate the GSC population but even promote GSCs through reprogramming of glioma non-stem cells to stem cells. Since the standard GBM treatment often requires supplementation with adjuvant drugs such as antidepressants, their role in the regulation of the heterogeneous nature of GSCs needs evaluation.

Methods

We examined the effects of imipramine, amitriptyline, fluoxetine, mirtazapine, agomelatine, escitalopram, and temozolomide on the phenotypic signature (CD44, Ki67, Nestin, Sox1, and Sox2 expression) of GSCs isolated from a human T98G cell line. These drugs were examined in several models of hypoxia (1% oxygen, 2.5% oxygen, and a hypoxia-reoxygenation model) as compared to the standard laboratory conditions (20% oxygen).

Results

We report that antidepressant drugs, particularly imipramine and amitriptyline, modulate plasticity, silence the GSC profile, and partially reverse the malignant phenotype of GBM. Moreover, we observed that, in contrast to temozolomide, these tricyclic antidepressants stimulated viability and mitochondrial activity in normal human astrocytes.

Conclusion

The ability of phenotype switching from GSC to non-GSC as stimulated by antidepressants (primarily imipramine and amitriptyline) sheds new light on the heterogeneous nature of GSC, as well as the role of antidepressants in adjuvant GBM therapy.

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