ROS accumulation and IGF-IR inhibition contribute to fenofibrate/PPARalpha -mediated inhibition of glioma cell motility in vitro

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Molecular Cancer


BACKGROUND: Glioblastomas are characterized by rapid cell growth, aggressive CNS infiltration, and are resistant to all known anticancer regimens. Recent studies indicate that fibrates and statins possess anticancer potential. Fenofibrate is a potent agonist of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) that can switch energy metabolism from glycolysis to fatty acid beta-oxidation, and has low systemic toxicity. Fenofibrate also attenuates IGF-I-mediated cellular responses, which could be relevant in the process of glioblastoma cell dispersal. METHODS: The effects of fenofibrate on Glioma cell motility, IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) signaling, PPARalpha activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism, mitochondrial potential, and ATP production were analyzed in human glioma cell lines. RESULTS: Fenofibrate treatment attenuated IGF-I signaling responses and repressed cell motility of LN-229 and T98G Glioma cell lines. In the absence of fenofibrate, specific inhibition of the IGF-IR had only modest effects on Glioma cell motility. Further experiments revealed that PPARalpha-dependent accumulation of ROS is a strong contributing factor in Glioma cell lines responses to fenofibrate. The ROS scavenger, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), restored cell motility, improved mitochondrial potential, and increased ATP levels in fenofibrate treated Glioma cell lines. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that although fenofibrate-mediated inhibition of the IGF-IR may not be sufficient in counteracting Glioma cell dispersal, PPARalpha-dependent metabolic switch and the resulting ROS accumulation strongly contribute to the inhibition of these devastating brain tumor cells.

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