Scientific reports

High glucose enhances progression of cholangiocarcinoma cells via STAT3 activation.

PMID 26743134


Epidemiological studies have indicated diabetes mellitus (DM) as a risk of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), however, the effects and mechanisms of high glucose on progression of CCA remain unclear. This study reports for the first time of the enhancing effects of high glucose on aggressive phenotypes of CCA cells via STAT3 activation. CCA cells cultured in high glucose media exerted significantly higher rates of cell proliferation, adhesion, migration and invasion than those cultured in normal glucose. The phosphokinase array revealed STAT3 as the dominant signal activated in response to high glucose. Increased nuclear STAT3, p-STAT3 and its downstream target proteins, cyclin D1, vimentin and MMP2, were shown to be underling mechanisms of high glucose stimulation. The link of high glucose and STAT3 activation was confirmed in tumor tissues from CCA patients with DM that exhibited higher STAT3 activation than those without DM. Moreover, the levels of STAT3 activation were correlated with the levels of blood glucose. Finally, decreasing the level of glucose or using a STAT3 inhibitor could reduce the effects of high glucose. These findings suggest that controlling blood glucose or using a STAT3 inhibitor as an alternative approach may improve the therapeutic outcome of CCA patients with DM.