Resveratrol Inhibited Growth/Induced Death: Ova Ca Cells

Regular Article

Resveratrol-induced Autophagocytosis in Ovarian Cancer Cells

Anthony W. Opipari, Jr.1, Lijun Tan1, Anthony E. Boitano2, Dorothy R. Sorenson3, Anjili Aurora1 and J. Rebecca Liu1

1 Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2 Chemistry, and 3 Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Resveratrol (3,5,4-trihydroxystilbene), a natural phytoalexin present in grapes, nuts, and red wine, has antineoplastic activities. Several molecular mechanisms have been described to underlie its effects on cells in vitro and in vivo.

In the present study, the response of ovarian cancer cells to resveratrol is explored. Resveratrol inhibited growth and induced death in a panel of five human ovarian carcinoma cell lines.

The response was associated with mitochondrial release of cytochrome c, formation of the apoptosome complex, and caspase activation.

Surprisingly, even with these molecular features of apoptosis, analysis of resveratrol-treated cells by light and electron microscopy revealed morphology and ultrastructural changes indicative of autophagocytic, rather than apoptotic, death.

This suggests that resveratrol can induce cell death through two distinct pathways. Consistent with resveratrolís ability to kill cells via nonapoptotic processes, cells transfected to express high levels of the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-xL and Bcl-2 are equally sensitive as control cells to resveratrol.

Together, these findings show that resveratrol induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells through a mechanism distinct from apoptosis, therefore suggesting that it may provide leverage to treat ovarian cancer that is chemoresistant on the basis of ineffective apoptosis.

Cancer Research 64, 696-703, January 15, 2004

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