Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: 18th Scientific Symposium of the Austrian Pharmacological Society (APHAR)

Open Access Meeting abstract

IL-6-mediated migration of human metastatic melanoma cells is reduced by simvastatin treatment

Christine Wasinger1, Christoph Minichsdorfer2 and Martin Hohenegger1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Pharmacology, Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria

2 Department of Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology 2012, 13(Suppl 1):A66  doi:10.1186/2050-6511-13-S1-A66

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/2050-6511/13/S1/A66


Published:17 September 2012

© 2012 Wasinger et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Background

In 1987 the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, statins, were first marketed and are now widely used as well-tolerated therapeutics for hypercholesterolemia. High interleukin 6 (IL-6) plasma levels in melanoma patients are linked to a higher tumour burden and reduced overall survival. We have recently shown that simvastatin triggers apoptosis in human metastatic melanoma cells which is associated with concentration-dependent changes in autocrine IL-6 secretion. Here, we investigated IL-6 signalling with respect to proliferation and migration in human metastatic melanoma cells under statin application.

Methods

For this approach, human metastatic melanoma cells (A375, 518a2) were used for quantification of surface expression of the IL-6 receptor (IL-6-R/gp130) and for cell cycle with FACS analysis. Additionally, migration assays were carried out with simvastatin and/or IL-6 administration over time.

Results

Increasing concentrations of simvastatin led to morphological changes and detachment of the melanoma cells. After reseeding of the detached cells, A375 cells had a normal cell cycle profile while 518a2 cells underwent apoptosis resulting in cell death. Moreover, simvastatin treatment enhanced the surface expression of the IL-6-R and the gp130 subunit in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Both cell lines responded to IL-6 treatment with increased proliferation and migration which was inhibited by simvastatin.

Conclusion

We demonstrate that simvastatin up-regulates the IL-6 pathway on the level of the heteromeric IL-6 receptor. Although increased IL-6 receptor expression would imply a stronger IL-6 signal, this is not seen in the presence of simvastatin. A novel therapeutic concept for simvastatin may emerge from the suppression of the IL-6-mediated proliferation and migration in metastatic melanoma cells.

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Herzfeldersche Familienstiftung and the Austrian Science Fund FWF (P-22385).