BACKGROUND. Clinical data showed that the levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4) are significantly elevated in serum of patients with ablation resistant prostate cancer. Previous studies demonstrated that IL-4 enhances androgen receptor (AR) activation mediated by NF-κB in the absence or in the very low levels of androgen in prostate cancer cells. In this study, the role of IL-4 in promoting the growth of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells was examined. METHODS. LNCaP cells were transfected with a full-length IL-4 cDNA and stable clones expressing IL-4 were selected. The growth of LNCaP cells expressing IL-4 was analyzed in vitro and in vivo both in the presence and absence of androgen. RESULTS. Overexpression of IL-4 enhances the growth of androgen-sensitive LNCaP cells in culture media containing charcoal-stripped FBS condition (CS-FBC), and increases the sensitivity of LNCaP cells in response to androgen stimulation. The DHT-mediated cell growth could not be blocked by bicalutamide in IL-4 overexpressing LNCaP cells, but can be neutralized by bicalutamide in parental LNCaP and neo control cells. Furthermore, overexpression of IL-4 stimulates tumor growth of androgen-sensitive LNCaP cells both in intact and castrated male mice. CONCLUSIONS. Overexpression of IL-4 increases the sensitivity of androgen-sensitive LNCaP prostate cancer cells in response to androgen stimulation and enhances the growth of LNCaP cells both in the presence and absence of androgen in vitro and in vivo. These studies suggest that IL-4 plays an important role in promoting androgen-independent prostate cancer growth.
- Prostate cancer
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