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Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012 Apr;110(4):314-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7843.2011.00816.x. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

3,3'-Diindolylmethane alters Ca2+ homeostasis and viability in MG63 human osteosarcoma cells.

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Department of Orthopedics, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


The effect of the natural product 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) on cytosolic Ca(2+) concentrations ([Ca(2+)](i)) and viability in MG63 human osteosarcoma cells was explored. The Ca(2+)-sensitive fluorescent dye fura-2 was applied to measure [Ca(2+)](i). DIM at concentrations of 40-80 μM induced a [Ca(2+)](i) rise in a concentration-dependent manner. The response was reduced partly by removing Ca(2+). DIM-evoked Ca(2+) entry was suppressed by nifedipine, econazole, SK&F96365 and protein kinase C modulators. In the absence of extracellular Ca(2+), incubation with the endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) pump inhibitors thapsigargin or 2,5-di-tert-butylhydroquinone (BHQ) inhibited or abolished DIM-induced [Ca(2+)](i) rise. Incubation with DIM also inhibited thapsigargin or BHQ-induced [Ca(2+)](i) rise. Inhibition of phospholipase C with U73122 abolished DIM-induced [Ca(2+)](i) rise. At concentrations of 10-50 μM, DIM killed cells in a concentration-dependent manner. This cytotoxic effect was not altered by chelating cytosolic Ca(2+) with 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA). Annexin V/propidium iodide staining data implicate that DIM (20 and 40 μM) induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. In sum, in MG63 cells, DIM induced a [Ca(2+)](i) rise by evoking phospholipase C-dependent Ca(2+) release from the endoplasmic reticulum and Ca(2+) entry via protein kinase C-sensitive store-operated Ca(2+) channels. DIM caused cell death that may involve apoptosis.

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