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25 December 2017 : Laboratory Research  

Pirfenidone Inhibits Proliferation and Promotes Apoptosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells by Inhibiting the Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway

Wei-Jie Zou1ABCDEF, Zhi Huang2ABCDEF, Tian-Peng Jiang1ABC, Ya-Ping Shen2BD, An-Su Zhao3CD, Shi Zhou1ABG*, Shuai Zhang4AEF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907891

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:6107-6113

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most important cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Pirfenidone is an orally available small molecule with therapeutic potential for fibrotic diseases.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this study, we analyzed the effects of different pirfenidone concentrations on the proliferation of HepG2 HCC cells using Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) and colony formation assays. Flow cytometry was performed to measure the apoptotic effects of pirfenidone on HepG2 cells. Western blot analysis was performed to detect the expression of β-catenin and p-β-catenin.

RESULTS: Pirfenidone inhibited proliferation and promoted HepG2 cell apoptosis. In addition, Western blot results indicated that pirfenidone suppressed b-catenin expression in HepG2 cells. To assess the mechanism, we treated HepG2 cells with pirfenidone, and pirfenidone plus the β-catenin activator, SB-216763. The results revealed that SB-216763 accelerated proliferation and inhibited apoptosis in HepG2 cells treated with pirfenidone. Western blot results showed that SB-216763 upregulated β-catenin expression in HepG2 cells treated with pirfenidone.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusions, pirfenidone may be a potential drug for HCC treatment.

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750