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You S.,Atlanta Research and Educational Foundation 151F | Zuo L.,Atlanta Research and Educational Foundation 151F | Li W.,Atlanta Research and Educational Foundation 151F
International Journal of Nanomedicine | Year: 2010

Sex hormonal milieus during the female fertility cycle modulate the tumor vascular permeability of breast cancer. It has been proposed that the liposomal formulated doxorubicin (ie, Doxil), given at the menstrual/estrous stage with the predicted highest tumor vascular permeability, allows significantly increased drug retention in the breast tumor. In the current study, syngeneic murine 4T1 mammary tumors were established on the backs of female BALB/c mice and Doxil was administered at particular mouse estrous cycle stages. The results indicated that Doxil administration during certain times in the mouse estrous cycle was crucial for drug retention in 4T1 tumor tissues. Significantly higher drug concentrations were detected in the tumor tissues when Doxil was administered during the diestrus stage, as compared to when the drug injection was given at all other estrous stages. Our study also showed that the tumor-bearing mice exhibited nearly normal rhythmicity of the estrous cycle post drug injection, indicating the feasibility of continual injection of Doxil at the same estrous cycle stage. By using 4T1 cells cultured in vitro, we showed that progesterone (P4) significantly inhibited cell proliferation and the production of six tumor-derived cytokines, eg, sTNF-RI, CXCL-16, GM-CSF, MIP-1α, MIP-1γ, and Flt3-L. Some of these factors have been shown to be vascular modulators in diverse tissues. In this report, we demonstrated that the concentration of P4 in the plasma and/or estrous cycle stage of 4T1 tumor-bearing mice can be used to select the best time for administrating the liposomal anticancer drugs. © 2010 You et al.

You S.,Atlanta Research and Educational Foundation 151F | Zuo L.,Atlanta Research and Educational Foundation 151F | Varma V.,Atlanta Research and Educational Foundation 151F
Journal of Molecular Histology | Year: 2010

The broad tissue distribution of membrane progesterone receptor alpha (mPRα) in vertebrates suggests multiple physiological functions of the receptor. Current knowledge regarding the receptor distribution, however, is largely obtained via non-histological assays. In this study, the tissue distribution of mPRα in mice of both sexes was described using both histological and non-histological methods. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that abundant expression of mPRα was consistently detected in the cytoplasm and membrane of smooth muscles in vasculatures, gastro-intestines, and uterus. It was also observed in myoepithelial cells of mammary gland and intra-ovarian myofibroblasts. These findings suggest that mPRα may function as a mediator of P4 in regulating function of smooth muscles or smooth muscle-like cells in numerous physiological processes such as vasodilation, transportation of contents within luminary organs, relaxation of the uterine myometrium during pregnancy, release of oocytes, and milk secretion. In addition, strong mPRα expression was identified in the parietal cells of gastric glands, indicating the potential roles of P4/mPRα signaling in the modulation of gastric acid secretion. Surprisingly, in the testis of male mice mPRα was mainly seen in the nuclei, rather than cytoplasm and/or membrane, of the primary and secondary spermatocytes, suggesting a direct role of the receptor in gene regulation. Our results indicate that mPRα may function as a key modulator of P4 in the modulation of multiple physiological functions in normal mice. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.

Zuo L.,Atlanta Research and Educational Foundation 151F | Li W.,Atlanta Research and Educational Foundation 151F | You S.,Atlanta Research and Educational Foundation 151F
Breast Cancer Research | Year: 2010

Introduction: Basal phenotype breast cancers (BPBC) are often associated with apparent epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). The role of progesterone (P4) in regulating EMT of BPBC has not been reported.Methods: The EMT relevant biology was investigated in vitro using human BPBC cell models (MDA-MB468 and MDA-MB231) with P4, PR agonist (RU486), and PR antagonist (R5020) treatments. The essential role of membrane progesterone receptor α (mPRα) in the P4-regulated EMT was demonstrated by knocking down the endogenous gene and/or stably transfecting exogenous mPRα gene in the BPBC cell models.Results: The expression of snail and down-stream EMT proteins such as occludin, fibronectin, and E-cadherin was significantly regulated by P4 incubation, which was accompanied by cell morphological reversion from mesenchymal to epithelial phenotypes. In searching for the cell mediator of P4' action in the MDA-MB468 (MB468) cells, it was found that mPRα but not the nuclear PR has an essential role in the P4 mediated EMT inhibition. Knocking down the expression of mPRα with specific siRNA blocked the P4's effects on expression of the EMT proteins. In another BPBC cell line - MDA-MB231 (MB231), which is mPRα negative by Western blotting, P4 treatment did not alter cell proliferation and EMT protein expressions. Introduction of the exogenous mPRα cDNA into these cells caused cell proliferation, but not EMT, to become responsive to P4 treatment. In further studies, it was found that activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway is necessary for the P4-induced EMT reversion. To define the potential inter-mediate steps between mPRα and PI3K, we demonstrated that mPRα, caveolin-1 (Cav-1), and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are colocalized in the membrane of caveolar vesicle and the P4-repressed EMT in MB468 cells can be blocked by EGFR inhibitor (AG1478) and PI3K inhibitor (wortmannin).Conclusions: Our data suggest that the signaling cascade of P4 induced mesenchymal repression is mediated through mPRα and other caveolae bound signaling molecules namely Cav-1, EGFR, and PI3K. This novel finding may have great impact on fully understanding the pathogenesis of BPBC and provide an essential clue for developing a targeted therapeutic strategy for treatment of BPBC. © 2010 Zuo et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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