Oxysterols are cholesterol oxygenated derivatives which possess several biological actions. Among oxysterols, 7-ketocholesterol (7KC) is known to induce cell death. Here, we hypothesized that 7KC cytotoxicity could be applied in cancer therapeutics. 7KC was incorporated into a lipid core nanoemulsion. As a cellular model the murine melanoma cell line B16F10 was used. The nanoparticle (7KCLDE) uptake into tumor cells was displaced by increasing amounts of low-density-lipoproteins (LDL) suggesting a LDL-receptor-mediated cell internalization. 7KCLDE was mainly cytostatic, which led to an accumulation of polyploid cells. Nevertheless, a single dose of 7KCLDE killed roughly 10% of melanoma cells. In addition, it was observed dissipation of the transmembrane potential, evidenced with flow cytometry; presence of autophagic vacuoles, visualized and quantified with flow cytometry and acridine orange; and presence of myelin figures, observed with ultrastructural microscopy. 7KCLDE impaired cytokenesis was accompanied by changes in cellular morphology into a fibroblastoid shape which is supported by cytoskeletal rearrangements, as shown by the increased actin polymerization. 7KCLDE was injected into B16 melanoma tumor-bearing mice. 7KCLDE accumulated in the liver and tumor. In melanoma tumor 7KCLDE promoted a > 50% size reduction, enlarged the necrotic area, and reduced intratumoral vasculature. 7KCLDE increased the survival rates of animals, without hematologic or liver toxicity. Although more pre-clinical studies should be performed, our preliminary results suggested that 7KCLDE is a promising novel preparation for cancer chemotherapy.
Favero, G. M., Paz, J. L., Otake, A. H., Maria, D. A., Caldini, E. G., de Medeiros, R. S. S., … Bydlowski, S. P. (2018). Cell internalization of 7-ketocholesterol-containing nanoemulsion through LDL receptor reduces melanoma growth in vitro and in vivo: A preliminary report. Oncotarget, 9(18), 14160–14174. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24389