Expression of β2-adrenergic receptor in oral squamous cell carcinoma

Authors

  • Zheng Jun Shang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedical Engineering, Ministry of Education of China, School of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. First Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
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  • Ke Liu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedical Engineering, Ministry of Education of China, School of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
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    • *

      Both authors contributed equally to this work.

  • De Feng Liang

    1. Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedical Engineering, Ministry of Education of China, School of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
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Zheng-Jun Shang, DDS, MD, PhD, Key Laboratory for Oral Biomedical Engineering, Ministry of Education of China, School of Stomatology, Wuhan University, 237 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430079, China. Tel: +86 27 87646313, Fax: +86 27 87873260, E-mail: shangzhengjun@hotmail.com

Abstract

Background:  It has been speculated that chemokines and neurotransmitters might be involved in the organ-specific development of metastases because cancer metastasis is similar to the regulation of migratory activity in leukocytes. Here, we aimed to examine the expression of β2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), and to investigate its correlation with tumor development and metastasis.

Methods:  Expression of β2-AR was examined in 65 cases of OSCC specimens, 10 cases of normal oral mucosa, and two cell lines using immunohistochemistry, Western blot and RT-PCR. The differences in β2-AR expression between various groups were evaluated using SPSS 13.0 Statistical Software. Cell proliferation assays were assayed by β-adrenergic receptors agonists (norepinephrine) and antagonists (propranolol). Norepinephrine-mediated cell migration was assayed in Matrigel-coated chemotaxis chamber.

Results:  β2-AR was highly expressed on OSCC compared to normal controls. In OSCC, positive β2-AR expression was significantly correlated with cervical lymph node metastasis (P = 0.001), age (P = 0.003), tumor size (P = 0.001) and clinical stage (= 0.001), but not with gender. RT-PCR and Western blot also confirmed positive β2-AR expression in OSCC and TCa8113 cell line, and negative β2-AR expression in normal oral mucosa and ACC cell line. β-adrenoreceptor agonist (norepinephrine) was a potent mitogen for TCa8113 and ACC cell lines, and completely inhibited by the selective antagonist of β-adrenergic receptors (propranolol). Norepinephrine induced migratory activity of OSCC cells in a dose-dependent manner.

Conclusion:  Increased expression of β2-AR may play an important role in the formation and metastasis of OSCC.

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