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Keywords:

  • prostate cancer;
  • cell proliferation;
  • apoptosis;
  • angiogenesis;
  • grape seed extract

Abstract

Dietary intake of many fruits and vegetables has been shown to be associated with reduced risk of cancer. We investigated the in vivo efficacy of grape seed extract (GSE, patented as Traconol) against prostate cancer (PCA) and associated molecular events. Athymic nude mice were implanted with hormone-refractory human prostate carcinoma DU145 cells and fed with 100 and 200 mg/kg/day (5 days/week) doses of GSE for 7 weeks. At the end of experiment, tumors were immunohistochemically analyzed for cell proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis. Our data show that GSE feeding strongly inhibited tumor growth that accounted for 59–73% (p < 0.001) inhibition in tumor volume and 37–47% (p < 0.05) decrease in tumor weight at the end of the experiment. It did not show any significant change in body weight gain profile and diet consumption. Immunohistochemical analysis of tumors showed that GSE decreases proliferation index by 51–66% (p < 0.001) and increases apoptotic index by 3–4-fold (p < 0.001). CD31 staining for endothelial cells, showed decrease in intratumoral microvasculature in GSE-fed group of mice. Control tumors showed 64.0 ± 1.6 CD31 positive cells/400× field compared to 23.2 ± 0.9 and 15.7 ± 0.08 (p < 0.001) CD31 positive cells in 100 and 200 mg/kg doses of GSE-treated tumors, respectively. GSE strongly inhibited (47–70%, p < 0.05) vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion in conditioned medium by DU145 cells. Recently, the circulating level of insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP)-3 is shown to inversely related with PCA risk, growth and prognosis. Consistent with this, we observed 6–7-fold (p < 0.001) increase in tumor-secreted levels of IGFBP-3 after GSE feeding. In other immunohistochemical studies, compared to controls, tumor xenografts from GSE-fed groups of mice showed a moderate decrease in VEGF but an increase in IGFBP-3 levels. These findings suggest that GSE possesses in vivo anticancer efficacy against hormone-refractory human PCA, which is associated with its antiproliferative, proapoptotic and antiangiogenic activities together with upregulation of IGFBP-3. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.