Journal Article

Carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons increase intracellular Ca2+ and cell proliferation in primary human mammary epithelial cells.

S L Tannheimer, S L Barton, S P Ethier and S W Burchiel

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 18, issue 6, pages 1177-1182
Published in print June 1997 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online June 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/18.6.1177
Carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons increase intracellular Ca2+ and cell proliferation in primary human mammary epithelial cells.

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Previous studies have shown that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) mobilize intracellular Ca2+ in human T cells by inositol trisphosphate-dependent mechanisms resulting from activation of phospholipase C-gamma by SRC-related protein tyrosine kinases, thereby mimicking antigen-receptor activation. Ca2+ appears to play an important second messenger role in growth factor control of cell proliferation in human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC), such as the epidermal growth factor receptor pathway. The purpose of the present studies was to determine if PAHs are able to increase intracellular Ca2+ in primary cultures of HMEC and increase cell proliferation. Two carcinogenic and two non-carcinogenic PAHs were tested for their ability to increase intracellular Ca2+ in HMEC. The carcinogenic PAHs dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) and benzo[a] pyrene (BaP) were able to cause Ca2+ elevation in HMEC at early time points (2 h) and caused sustained alterations in Ca2+ homeostasis (18 h). DMBA showed maximal effects at early time points (2 h), while BaP showed maximal effects on sustained Ca2+ (18 h). 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), a potent dioxin and tumor promoter, produced maximal Ca2+ elevation at 2 h, with a return to near baseline levels by 6 h. The non-carcinogenic PAHs benzo[e]pyrene and anthracene did not significantly alter intracellular Ca2+ at any time point. alpha-Naphthoflavone significantly reduced the Ca2+ response induced by BaP treatment, but not by DMBA or TCDD, suggesting that P450 1A or 1B metabolism of BaP may be important in the sustained Ca2+ elevating response. In evaluating the effects of BaP on HMEC proliferation, BaP was found to increase the number of cells recovered after 4 days in culture in the absence or presence of various concentrations of epidermal growth factor. These studies provide initial evidence that Ca2+ signaling may be associated with mitogenesis in HMEC, which may play a role in tumor promotion and progression produced by PAHs.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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