European Association for the Study of the Liver, London, United Kingdom, 9 - 13 April 2014
Background and Aims: Capsaicin, the most abundant pungent molecule produced by pepper plants, represents an important ingredient in spicy foods consumed throughout the world. Studies have shown that capsaicin has anti-proliferative effects on various human malignancies. In contrast, capsaicin has also been considered to promote the growth of cancer cells. It is also known that capsaicin application can relieve inflammation and pain. The aim of the present study is to explore the anti-tumor activity of capsaicin in human cholangiocellular carcinoma cells (CC). Methods: We analyzed the effect of capsaicin by testing different dosages on CC’s growth and epithelial plasticity by using WST-1 assay, wound healing assay, invasion assay, colony formation assay, apoptosis assay, Western Blot and RT-PCR.
Results: Capsaicin effectively impaired cell proliferation, migration, invasion, epithelial to mesenchymal transition and growth of softagar colonies. Further, we show for the first time that capsaicin treatment of CC cells targets the Hedgehog signaling pathway. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that treatment with capsaicin can successfully decrease the carcinogenesis of CC cells in vitro and suggest an additional appealing potential therapeutic strategy for human CCs in vivo. However, further studies are needed to confirm our preliminary results.