Palmitoylethanolamide Exerts Antiproliferative Effect and Downregulates VEGF Signaling in Caco-2 Human Colon Carcinoma Cell Line Through a Selective PPAR-α-Dependent Inhibition of Akt/mTOR Pathway.
Phytother Res. 2016 Jun ;30(6):963-70. Epub 2016 Mar 1. PMID: 26929026
Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a nutraceutical compound that has been demonstrated to improve intestinal inflammation. We aimed at evaluating its antiproliferative and antiangiogenic effects in human colon adenocarcinoma Caco-2 cell line. Caco-2 cells were treated with increasing concentrations of PEA (0.001, 0.01 and 0.1 μM) in the presence of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-a (PPAR-α) or PPAR-γ antagonists. Cell proliferation was evaluated by performing a MTT assay. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) release was estimated by ELISA, while the expression of VEGF receptor and the activation ofthe Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway were evaluated by western blot analysis. PEA caused a significant and concentration-dependent decrease of Caco-2 cell proliferation at 48 h. PEA administration significantly reduced in a concentration-dependent manner VEGF secretion and VEGF receptor expression. Inhibition of Akt phosphorylation and a downstream decrease of phospho-mTOR and of p-p70S6K were observed as compared with untreated cells. PPAR-α, but not PPAR-γ antagonist, reverted all effects of PEA. PEA is able to decrease cell proliferation and angiogenesis. The antiangiogenic effect of PEA depends on the specific inhibition of the AkT/mTOR axis, through the activation of PPAR-α pathway. If supported by in vivo models, our data pave the way to PEA co-administration to the current chemotherapeutic regimens for colon carcinoma. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley&Sons, Ltd.