BACKGROUND/AIMS: Incidence of cholangiocarcinoma is increasing worldwide, yet remaining highly aggressive and with poor prognosis. The mechanisms that drive cholangiocyte transition towards malignant phenotype are obscure. Cholangiocyte benign proliferation is subjected to a self-limiting mechanism based on the autocrine release of endogenous opioid peptides. Despite the presence of both, ligands interact with delta opioid receptor (OR), but not with microOR, with the consequent inhibition of cell growth. We aimed to verify whether cholangiocarcinoma growth is associated with failure of opioidergic regulation of growth control. METHODS: We evaluated the effects of OR selective agonists on cholangiocarcinoma cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis. Intracellular signals were also characterised. RESULTS: Activation of microOR, but not deltaOR, increases cholangiocarcinoma cell growth. Such an effect is mediated by ERK1/2, PI3K and Ca(2+)-CamKIIalpha cascades, but not by cAMP/PKA and PKCalpha. microOR activation also enhances cholangiocarcinoma cell migration and reduces death by apoptosis. The anti-apoptotic effect of microOR was PI3K dependent. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that cholangiocarcinoma growth is associated with altered opioidergic regulation of cholangiocyte biology, thus opening new scenarios for future surveillance or early diagnostic strategies for cholangiocarcinoma.
|Titolo:||Human cholangiocarcinoma development is associated with dysregulation of opioidergic modulation of cholangiocyte growth|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|