Hyperthermia enhances radiosensitivity of colorectal cancer cells through ROS inducing autophagic cell death

PMID: 29240246
Journal: Journal of cellular biochemistry (volume: 119, issue: 4, J. Cell. Biochem. 2018 04;119(4):3763-3774)
Published: 2018-01-11

Ba MC, Long H, Wang S, Wu YB, Zhang BH, Yan ZF, Yu FH, Cui SZ


Hyperthermia (HT) enhances the anti-cancer effects of radiotherapy (RT), but the precise biochemical mechanisms involved are unclear. This study was aim to investigate if mild HT sensitizes colorectal cancer cells to RT through reactive oxygen species (ROS)-inducing autophagic cell death in a mice model of HCT116 human colorectal cancer. HCT116 mice model were randomly divided into five groups: mock group, hyperthermia group (HT), radiotherapy group (RT), HT + RT group, and HT + RT +N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC) group (HT + CT + NAC). After four weeks of treatment, cancer growth inhibition, rate and mitochondrial membrane potential were measured with MTT and JC-1 assays, respectively, while ROS were estimated fluorimetrically. The relationship of these parameters to expressions of autophagy-related genes Beclin1, LC3B, and mTOR was analyzed. Gene expression was measured by Real-Time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). There were significant increases in ROS levels and mitochondrial membrane potential in the HT + RT group. ROS levels in the HT + RT group increased more significantly than in any other group. In contrast, ROS levels in the HT + RT + NAC group were significantly decreased relative to the HT + RT group. The number of autophagic bodies in HT + RT group was higher than that of mock group. There were significant increases in the expression of Beclin1 and LC3B genes, while mTOR expression was significantly decreased in the HT + CT group. Treatment with NAC reversed the pattern of these changes. These results indicate that HT enhances the radiosensitivity of colorectal cancer cells to RT through ROS inducing autophagic cell death.