Cells are known to undergo apoptosis when cultured in high serum concentrations. However, the serum factors responsible for this induction of apoptosis have not been identified. The IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), a negative growth regulator, is found at concentrations of 5 μg/ml in serum. We have recently demonstrated that IGFBP-3 induces apoptosis in PC-3 cells, a prostate cancer cell line, at a concentration of 500 ng/ml. In this communication, we demonstrate the role of IGFBP-3 as one of the apoptosis- inducing agents in high serum concentrations. Treatment of PC-3 cells with increasing concentrations (40% to 90%) of intact human serum (HS) resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in cell growth. Valinomycin, an ionophore, was used as a positive control to measure the induction of apoptosis by serum treatment in PC-3 cells. Treatment with 90% serum showed significant suppression of growth (P<0.001) compared with the effect of 10% serum. Treatment with increasing concentrations of HS (40% to 90%) resulted in a dose-dependent increase in apoptosis. Treatment with 90% HS showed a 10-fold increase in apoptotic index compared with cells treated with 10% HS. Treatment of PC-3 cells with IGFs and IGFBP-3-depleted 90% human sera (depleted serum=DS) demonstrated significantly lower levels of apoptosis (50% reduction in the effect of 90% HS) suggesting a role of IGFBP-3 in inducing apoptosis in high serum concentration. Furthermore, treatment with DS supplemented with recombinant IGFBP-3 (500 ng/ml) brought the apoptotic index down close to the level of apoptosis induced by 90% intact serum treatment (P<0.001). However, DS supplemented with physiological concentrations of IGFs (500 ng/ml) showed only partial recovery of cell survival demonstrated by 90% DS. This data indicates that IGFBP-3 is one of the factors in serum that is responsible for high-serum-induced apoptosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism