• proliferation;
  • apoptosis;
  • RWPE-1;
  • LNCaP;
  • DU-145



Evidence indicates that iodine per se could be implicated in the physiology of several organs that can internalize it. In thyroid and breast cancer, iodine treatments inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis through a direct (mitochondria) and/or indirect effect (iodolipid generation). Here, we determined the uptake of iodide (I) and iodine (I2), as well as the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of 6-iodolactone (6-IL) and both forms of iodine in human prostate cells lines.


Non-cancerous (RWPE-1) and cancerous (LNCaP, DU-145) cells, as well as nude mice xenotransplanted with DU-145 cells were used as cancer models. Iodine uptake was analyzed with radioactive tracers, transporter expression by qRT-PCR, cell proliferation by blue trypan, apoptosis by enzyme immunoassay or fluorescence, BAX and BCL-2 by western-blot, and caspsase 3 by enzymatic assay.


All three cell lines take up both forms of iodine. In RWPE-1 cells, I uptake depends on the Na+/I symporter (NIS), whereas it was independent of NIS in LNCaP and DU-145 cells. Antiproliferative effects of iodine and 6-IL were dose and time dependent; RWPE-1 was most sensitive to I and 6-IL, whereas LNCaP was more sensitive to I2. In the three cell lines both forms of iodine activated the intrinsic apoptotic pathway (increasing the BAX/BCL-2 index and caspases). Iodine supplementation impaired growth of the DU-145 tumor in nude mice.


Normal and cancerous prostate cells can take up iodine, and depending on the chemical form, it exerts antiproliferative and apoptotic effects both in vitro and in vivo. Prostate 73: 31–41, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.