Mammary gland tumor is the most common spontaneous tumor in intact female dogs, and its poor prognosis remains a clinical challenge. Ivermectin, a well-known anti-parasitic agent, has been implicated as a potential anticancer agent in various types of human cancer. However, there are no reports evaluating the antitumor effects of ivermectin in canine mammary tumor. Here, we investigated whether ivermectin was able to inhibit canine mammary tumor development and explored the related mechanisms. Ivermectin inhibited the growth of canine mammary tumor cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The antitumor effects induced by ivermectin were associated with cell cycle arrest at G1 phase via down-regulation of CDK4 and cyclin D1 expression, with no significant induction of apoptosis. Furthermore, significantly reduced β-catenin nuclear translocation was observed after treatment with ivermectin, resulting in the inactivation of WNT signaling. Consistent with the results in vitro, a significant suppression of tumor growth by ivermectin was observed in canine mammary tumor xenografts. Ivermectin, as a promising anti-cancer agent, inhibits the growth of canine mammary tumor by regulating cell cycle progression and WNT signaling.
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