Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.533, No.4, 1457-1463, 2020
Oxycodone stimulates normal and malignant hematopoietic progenitors via opioid-receptor-independent-beta-catenin activation
Oxycodone is a common type of opioid used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Besides its analgesic effects on neuron cells, the effects of oxycodone on other cell types are yet to be elucidated. We previously demonstrated that oxycodone displayed both proand anti-cancer effects on bulk cancer cells. This work further investigated the effects of oxycodone on normal and malignant hematopoietic stem cells. Using hematopoietic CD34thorn cells isolated from normal bone marrow (NBM) or patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), we showed that oxycodone activates hematopoietic cells regardless of cell development stage and malignant status. Oxycodone dose-dependently increases colony formation and self-renewal capacity of NBM and AML stem/progenitor cells, and promotes proliferation of AML bulk cells. NBM stem/progenitor cells are more sensitive to oxycodone than AML counterparts. In addition, oxycodone alleviates chemotherapy drug-induced toxicity in AML stem/progenitor cells. Mechanism studies demonstrate that oxycodone acts on hematopoietic cells in an opioid-receptor-independent manner. Oxycodone did not affect epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling neither but stimulated Wnt/b-catenin signaling. Rescue studies via depleting b-catenin using genetic and pharmacological approaches confirmed that b-catenin was required for the activation of hematopoietic cells induced by oxycodone. Our work demonstrates 1) the protective role of oxycodone in malignant hematopoietic cells from chemotherapy; 2) stimulatory effects of oxycodone in normal hematopoietic stem cells; and 3) ability of oxycodone in Wnt signaling activation. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.