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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 180363, 9 pages
Research Article

Mechanism of Growth Inhibition of Prostate Cancer Xenografts by Valproic Acid

1James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Marburg 205A, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
2Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
3Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Received 20 May 2012; Revised 16 July 2012; Accepted 17 July 2012

Academic Editor: Eric W. Lam

Copyright © 2012 Abhinav Sidana et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Valproic Acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, has been demonstrated to cause a marked decrease in proliferation of prostate cancer (PCa) cells in vitro and a significant reduction in tumor volume in vivo. The goal of this study is to better understand the VPA-induced growth inhibition in vivo, by studying expression of various markers in PCa xenografts. Methods. For in vitro experiments, PCa cells were treated with 0, 0.6, and 1.2 mM VPA for 14 days. For in vivo models, experimental animals received 0.4% VPA in drinking water for 35 days. Tissue microarray was generated using cell pellets and excised xenografts. Results. VPA treatment causes cell cycle arrest in PCa cells in vivo, as determined by increase in p21 and p27 and decrease in cyclin D1 expression. Increased expression of cytokeratin18 was also seen in xenografts. LNCaP xenografts in treated animals had reduced androgen receptor (AR) expression. While decreased proliferation was found in vitro, increase in apoptosis was found to be the reason for decreased tumor growth in vivo. Also, an anti-angiogenic effect was observed after VPA treatment. Conclusion. VPA inhibits tumor growth by multiple mechanisms including cell cycle arrest, induction of differentiation, and inhibition of growth of tumor vasculature.