Pancreatic cancer cells (PCCs) are surrounded by an abundant stroma, which is produced by pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs). PSCs promote tumor cell proliferation and invasion. The objective of the current study was to identify compounds that suppress PSC activation. Gene expression profiles of cancer-derived fibroblasts and normal fibroblasts were used, and the pathway analysis suggested altered pathways that were chosen for validation. It was found that the 'neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction' pathway from the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analysis was one of the altered pathways. Several compounds related with this pathway were chosen, and changes in PSC activity were investigated using fluorescence staining of lipid droplets, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR, western blotting, and invasion and migration assays. Among these candidates, duloxetine, a serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, was found to suppress PSC activation and disrupt tumor-stromal interaction. Thus, duloxetine may be a potential drug for suppressing PSC activation and pancreatic cancer growth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research