DOI: 10.1111/1759-7714.15075 ISSN:

AMPAR receptor inhibitors suppress proliferation of human small cell lung cancer cell lines

Nami Masumoto, Shingo Kato, Masahiro Aichi, Sho Hasegawa, Kota Sahara, Kumiko Suyama, Akane Sano, Tomoyuki Miyazaki, Koji Okudela, Takeshi Kaneko, Takuya Takahashi
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Oncology
  • General Medicine



Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a neuroendocrine tumor with poor prognosis. Neuroendocrine tumors possess characteristics of both nerve cells and hormone‐secreting cells; therefore, targeting the neuronal properties of these tumors may lead to the development of new therapeutic options. Among the endogenous signaling pathways in the nervous system, targeting the glutamate pathway may be a useful strategy for glioblastoma treatment. Perampanel, an antagonist of the synaptic glutamate α‐amino‐3‐hydroxy‐5‐methyl‐4‐isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR), has been reported to be effective in patients with glioblastoma. In this study, we aimed to investigate the antitumor effects of AMPAR antagonists in human SCLC cell lines.


We performed to examine the expression of AMPAR using Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis. The antitumor effects of AMPAR antagonists on human SCLC cell lines were investigated in vitro and in vivo. We also analyzed the signaling pathway of AMPAR antagonists in SCLC cell lines. Statistical analysis was performed by the GraphPad Prism 6 software.


We first examined the expression of endogenous AMPAR in six human SCLC cell lines, detecting AMPAR proteins in all of them. Next, we tested the anti−proliferative effect of two AMPAR antagonists, talampanel and cyanquixaline, using SCLC cells in vitro and in vivo. Both AMPAR antagonists inhibited cell proliferation and mitogen‐activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation in SCLC cells in vitro. Further, we observed reduced proliferation of implanted cell lines in an in vivo setting, assessed by Ki‐67 immunohistochemistry. Additionally, using immunohistochemical analysis we confirmed AMPAR protein expression in human SCLC samples.


AMPAR may be a potential therapeutic target for SCLC.

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