The effects of TNF-alpha and inhibitors of arachidonic acid metabolism on human colon HT-29 cells depend on differentiation status
The level of differentiation could influence sensitivity of colonic epithelial cells to various stimuli. In our study, the effects of TNF-alpha, inhibitors of arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism (baicalein, BA; indomethacin, INDO; niflumic acid, NA; nordihydroguaiaretic acid, NDGA), and/or their combinations on undifferentiated or sodium butyrate (NaBt)-differentiated human colon adenocarcinoma HT-29 cells were compared. NaBt-treated cells became growth arrested (blocked in G(0)/G(1) phase of the cell cycle), and showed down-regulated Bcl-x(L) and up-regulated Bak proteins and increased expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX). These cells were more perceptive to anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects of TNF-alpha. Both inhibitors of LOX (BA and NDGA) and COX (INDO and NA) in higher concentrations modulated cell cycle changes accompanying NaBt-induced differentiation and induced various level of cell death in undifferentiated and differentiated cells. Most important is our finding that TNF-alpha action on proliferation and cell death can be potentiated by co-treatment of cells with AA metabolism inhibitors, and that these effects were more significant in undifferentiated cells. TNF-alpha and INDO co-treatment was associated with accumulation of cells in G(0)/G(1) cell cycle phase, increased reactive oxygen species production, and elevated caspase-3 activity. These results indicate the role of differentiation status in the sensitivity of HT-29 cells to the anti-proliferative and proapoptotic effects of TNF-alpha, AA metabolism inhibitors, and their combinations, and imply promising possibility for novel anti-cancer strategies.