Melatonin inhibits human ﬁbroblast-like synoviocyte proliferation via extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase/P21CIP1/P27KIP1 pathways
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- Ha, Eun Young
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- extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase; fibroblast-like synoviocytes; melatonin; P21CIP1; P27KIP1; rheumatoid arthritis
- The excessive proliferation and migration of synoviocytes are well-characterized phenomena that play key roles in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Melatonin has been shown to have potent anti-proliferative effect in various cancer cells such as breast and prostate cancer cells. In this study, we examined the role of melatonin on synoviocyte proliferation in primary cultured human fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) by analyzing protein expression of P21CIP1 (P21) and P27KIP1 (P27), the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors that are important in cell cycle control, and the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). RA-FLS proliferation was determined by a [3H]-thymidine incorporation assay. Western blot analysis was applied to examine the underlying mechanisms of melatonin’s effect. Melatonin inhibited RA-FLS proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. It reduced proliferation of passage 2 FLSs by 25% at 10 μm and by nearly 40% at 100 μm concentrations. The inhibitory effect of melatonin on RA-FLS proliferation was also observed in passages 4 and 6. Melatonin upregulated the expression levels of P21 and P27 dose-dependently (24 hr), induced the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) time-dependently (10 μm), but did not affect phosphorylation of P38 in RA-FLSs. In addition, the expression of P21 and P27 triggered by melatonin was inhibited by the pretreatment of the ERK inhibitor, PD98059 (10 μm). The anti-proliferative action of melatonin in RA-FLSs was also blocked by PD98059. Taken together, these results suggest that melatonin exerts the inhibitory effect of the proliferation of RA-FLSs through the activation of P21 and P27 mediated by ERK. Hence we suggest that melatonin could be used as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of RA.
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