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Phenformin and metformin inhibit growth and migration of LN229 glioma cells in vitro and in vivo

Authors Wang Y, Meng Y, Zhang S, Wu H, Yang D, Nie C, Hu Q

Received 22 March 2018

Accepted for publication 23 May 2018

Published 20 September 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 6039—6048


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Carlos E Vigil

Yanmin Wang,1 Yanli Meng,2 Shijun Zhang,1 Huancheng Wu,1 Dawei Yang,1 Chaohui Nie,1 Qunliang Hu1

1Department of Cerebral Surgery, Tianjin Beichen Hospital, Tianjin 300000, People’s Republic of China; 2Library, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin 300000, People’s Republic of China

Background: Malignant glioma is refractory to conventional treatment, highlighting a need to develop novel efficacious therapies. Biguanides, a class of oral antidiabetic drug, have been thought to inhibit proliferation and metastasis in a variety of cancers.
Purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the affections of biguanides, phenformin (Phen) and metformin (Met), on growth and migration of glioma cells LN229 in vitro and in vivo.
Methods: Glioma cells LN229 were treated with Phen or Met, then cell proliferation and death were evaluated by MTT assay and PI stain, and cell cycle were evaluated using flow cytometric analysis, meantime wound healing assay and transwell migration assay were performed to detect cell migration ability. In addition, LN229 were injected in thigh of nude mice, and the mice were treated with Phen or Met to detect the effect of Phen and Met in vivo.
Results: Phen and Met could significantly inhibit cell growth through inhibiting cell proliferation, promoting cell death and disturbing cell cycle, and these drugs also could inhibit cell colony formation in glioma cells LN229 in vitro. Meanwhile, both Phen and Met could significantly inhibit cell migration of LN229 in vitro, through effecting the expression of E-cadherin and Vimentin. In addition, both Phen and Met inhibited the growth and migration of LN229 in a tumor xenograft model. Furthermore, Phen and Met were associated with the increased level of ROS of cell mitochondrial, and ROS inhibitor NAC could significantly rescue the cell death induced by Phen and Met.
Conclusion: Phen and Met displayed powerful antitumor effects of LN229, and our findings powerfully suggest the possibility of Phen and Met being used as an adjuvant agent in the treatment of glioma patients.

Keywords: phenformin, metformin, glioma, LN229, proliferation, migration

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