Gonadotropin-releasing hormone inhibits the proliferation and motility of nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells

Loong Hung Teng, Munirah Ahmad, Wayne Tiong Weng Ng, Subathra Sabaratnam, Maria Ithaya Rasan, Ishwar Parhar, Alan Soo Beng Khoo

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), or its analogues have been demonstrated to exhibit anti-proliferative effects on tumour cells in ovarian, endometrial and breast cancer through GnRH-receptors (GnRH-R). However, the role of GnRH in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remains to be elucidated. In order to investigate the effects of GnRH in NPC, the present study examined the expression of the GnRH-R transcript in NPC and investigated the phenotypic changes in HK1 cells, a recurrent NPC-derived cell line, upon receiving GnRH treatment. Firstly, the GnRH-R transcript was demonstrated in the NPC cell lines and four snap frozen biopsies using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. In addition, immunohistochemistry revealed the expression of GnRH-R in two of the eight (25 ) NPC specimens. Treatment with GnRH induced a rapid increase in intracellular ionised calcium concentration in the NPC cells. GnRH and its agonists, triptorelin and leuprolide, exerted anti-proliferative effects on the NPC cells, as determined using an MTS assay. GnRH did not induce any cell cycle arrest in the HK1 cells under the conditions assessed in the present study. Time-lapse imaging demonstrated a reduction in cell motility in the GnRH-treated cells. In conclusion, GnRH, or its analogues may have antitumour effects on NPC cells. The consequences of alterations in the levels of GnRH on the progression of NPC require further examination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4909 - 4916
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Medicine Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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