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Cerquetti L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Cerquetti L.,Research Center etro Hospital | Sampaoli C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Sampaoli C.,Research Center etro Hospital | And 11 more authors.
Experimental Cell Research | Year: 2011

Thiazolidinediones, specific peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor--γ (PPAR-γ) ligands, used in type-2 diabetes therapy, show favourable effects in several cancer cells. In this study we demonstrate that the growth of H295R and SW13 adrenocortical cancer cells is inhibited by rosiglitazone, a thiazolidinediones member, even though the mechanisms underlying this effect appeared to be cell-specific. Treatment with GW9662, a selective PPAR-γ-inhibitor, showed that rosiglitazone acts through both PPAR-γ-dependent and -independent mechanisms in H295R, while in SW13 cells the effect seems to be independent of PPAR-γ H295R cells treated with rosiglitazone undergo an autophagic process, leading to morphological changes detectable by electron microscopy and an increased expression of specific proteins such as AMPKγ and beclin-1. The autophagy seems to be independent of PPAR-γ activation and could be related to an increase in oxidative stress mediated by reactive oxygen species production with the disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential, triggered by rosiglitazone. In SW13 cells, flow cytometry analysis showed an arrest in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle with a decrease of cyclin E and cdk2 activity, following the administration of rosiglitazone. Our data show the potential role of rosiglitazone in the therapeutic approach to adrenocortical carcinoma and indicate the molecular mechanisms at the base of its antiproliferative effects, which appear to be manifold and cell-specific in adrenocortical cancer lines. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

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