Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Metformin and sodium dichloroacetate effects on proliferation, apoptosis, and metabolic activity tested alone and in combination in a canine prostate and a bladder cancer cell line

An important approach in tumor therapy is combining substances with different action mechanisms aiming to enhance the antineoplastic effect, decrease the therapeutic dosage, and avoid resistance mechanisms. Moreover, evaluating compounds already approved for the treatment of non-neoplastic diseases is promising for new antineoplastic therapies. Sodium dichloroacetate (DCA) reactivates oxidative phosphorylation in the cancer cell mitochondria, reducing apoptosis resistance in cancer cells. Furthermore, metformin inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells and CD133+ cancer -stem-like cells. In the present study, we evaluated the independent and synergistic effect of metformin and DCA on the metabolic activity, cell proliferation, and apoptosis of a canine prostate adenocarcinoma (Adcarc1258) and a transitional cell carcinoma cell line (TCC1506) in comparison to a primary canine fibroblast culture. Determining metformin uptake in tumor cells was performed by quantitative HPLC. Depending on the dosage, metformin as a single agent inhibited the metabolic activity and cell proliferation of the tumor cells, showing only minor effects on the fibroblasts. Furthermore, 1 mM metformin increased apoptosis over 96 h in the tumor cell lines but not in fibroblasts. Additionally, metformin uptake into the tumor cells in vitro was measurable by quantitative HPLC. Synergistic effects for the combination therapy were observed in both neoplastic cell lines as well as in the fibroblasts. Based on these results, metformin might be a promising therapeutic agent for canine urogenital tumors. Further studies on kinetics, toxicology, bioavailability, and application of metformin in dogs are necessary.


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