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Selective cyclooxygenase inhibitors increase paclitaxel sensitivity in taxane-resistant ovarian cancer by suppressing P-glycoprotein expression.

J Gynecol Oncol. 2013 Jul;24(3):273-9

Authors: Lee JP, Hahn HS, Hwang SJ, Choi JY, Park JS, Lee IH, Kim TJ


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors promote paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in taxane-resistant ovarian cancer cells by suppressing MDR1/P-glycoprotein (P-gp) expression.

METHODS: Taxane-resistant ovarian cancer cells were cultured with paclitaxel alone or combined with a selective COX inhibitors. The expression patterns of MDR1/P-gp and the ability of COX inhibitors to inhibit growth of taxane-resistant ovarian cancer cells were measured. The efficacy of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) supplementation was measured to evaluate the mechanisms involved in suppressing MDR1 gene expression.

RESULTS: P-gp was upregulated in taxane-resistant ovarian cancer cells compared to paired paclitaxel-sensitive ovarian cancer cells. An 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay showed that selective COX inhibitors significantly enhanced the cytotoxic effects of paclitaxel in taxane-resistant ovarian cancer cells via a prostaglandin-independent mechanism. These increased apoptotic effects were further verified by measuring an increased percentage of cells in sub-G1 stage using flow cytometry. Selective COX inhibitors suppressed MDR1 and P-gp expression. Moreover, combined treatment with paclitaxel and selective COX inhibitors increased poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage in taxane-resistant ovarian cancer cells.

CONCLUSION: Selective COX inhibitors significantly promote paclitaxel-induced cell death in taxane-resistant ovarian cancer cells in a prostaglandin-independent manner. COX inhibitors could be potent therapeutic tools to promote paclitaxel sensitization of taxane-resistant ovarian cancers by suppressing MDR1/P-gp, which is responsible for the efflux of chemotherapeutic agents.

PMID: 23875078 [PubMed]