We studied the effect of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), in the regulation of cholangiocarcinoma growth. We determined the in vitro effect of GABA on the proliferation of the cholangiocarcinoma cell lines (Mz-ChA-1, HuH-28, and TFK-1) and evaluated the intracellular pathways involved. The effect of GABA on migration of Mz-ChA-1 cells was also evaluated. In vivo, Mz-ChA-1 cells were s.c. injected in athymic mice, and the effects of GABA on tumor size, tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis, collagen quantity, and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and VEGF-C (cancer growth regulators) were measured after 82 days. GABA decreased in vitro cholangiocarcinoma growth in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner, by both cyclic AMP/protein kinase A- and D-/myo-inositol-1,4,5-thriphosphate/Ca2+-dependent pathways, leading to down-regulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation. Blocking of GABAA, GABAB, and GABAc receptors prevented GABA inhibition of cholangiocarcinoma proliferation. GABA inhibited Mz-ChA-1 cell migration and, in vivo, significantly decreased tumor volume, tumor cell proliferation, and VEGF-A/C expression whereas increasing apoptosis compared with controls. An increase in collagen was evident in GABA-treated tumors. GABA decreases biliary cancer proliferation and reduces the metastatic potential of cholangiocarcinoma. GABA may represent a therapeutic agent for patients affected by malignancies of the biliary tract.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research