Background: Tumor microenvironment, which is largely affected by inflammatory cells, is a crucial participant in the neoplastic process through promotion of cell proliferation, survival and migration. We measured the effects of polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) conditioned medium alone, and supplemented with serine proteinase inhibitor α-1 antitrypsin (AAT) or its C-terminal fragment (C-36 peptide), on cultured lung cancer cells. Methods: Lung cancer HCC cells were grown in a regular medium or in a PMN-conditioned medium in the presence or absence of AAT (0.5 mg/ml) or its C-36 peptide (0.06 mg/ml) for 24 h. Cell proliferation, invasiveness and release of IL-8 and VEGF were analyzed by [ 3H]-thymidine incorporation, Matrigel invasion and ELISA methods, respectively. Results: Cells exposed to PMN-conditioned medium show decreased proliferation and IL-8 release by 3.9-fold, p < 0.001 and 1.3-fold, p < 0.05, respectively, and increased invasiveness by 2-fold (p < 0.001) compared to non-treated controls. In the presence of AAT, PMN-conditioned medium loses its effects on cell proliferation, invasiveness and IL-8 release, whereas VEGF is upregulated by 3.7-fold (p < 0.001) compared to controls. Similarly, C-36 peptide abolishes the effects of PMN-conditioned medium on cell invasiveness, but does not alter its effects on cell proliferation, IL-8 and VEGF release. Direct HCC cell exposure to AAT enhances VEGF, but inhibits IL-8 release by 1.7-fold (p < 0.001) and 1.4-fold (p < 0.01) respectively, and reduces proliferation 2.5-fold (p < 0.01). In contrast, C-36 peptide alone did not affect these parameters, but inhibited cell invasiveness by 51.4% (p < 0.001), when compared with non-treated controls. Conclusions: Our data provide evidence that neutrophil derived factors decrease lung cancer HCC cell proliferation and IL-8 release, but increase cell invasiveness. These effects were found to be modulated by exogenously present serine proteinase inhibitor, AAT, and its C-terminal fragment, which points to a complexity of the relationships between tumor cell biological activities and local microenvironment.
- Cancer och onkologi