ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists have anticancer effect by inducing apoptosis or activating immune cells. In this study, we investigated whether imiquimod, TLR7 agonist, inhibits the proliferation of oral cancer cells.
Toll-like receptor 7 expression and IL-6/8 production by imiquimod were examined using RT-PCR and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. Cell viability was examined by MTT assay. To examine apoptotic cell death, Annexin V/PI staining for flow cytometry and Western blot analysis were performed. Necrotic cell death was determined by leakage of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), HMGB1, and PI staining in imiquimod-treated oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells.
Toll-like receptor 7 mRNA was expressed in OSCC cells. Imiquimod induced IL-6 and IL-8 production in OSCC cells, suggesting the functional expression of TLR7. Imiquimod inhibited cells proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. The ratio of annexin V-positive cells and cleaved caspase-3/7 was increased by imiquimod treatment in OSCC cells, suggesting that imiquimod-induced cell death in OSCC cells may be owing to apoptosis. In addition, LDH secretion and PI staining were detected in OSCC cells treated with imiquimod, showing that imiquimod also induced necrotic cell death in the OSCC cells.
Imiquimod inhibited effectively the growth of OSCC cells by inducing apoptosis and necrosis.
Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine 05/2012; 41(7):540-6. · 1.63 Impact Factor