Osteolytic bone metastasis is seen in lung, breast, and prostate cancer and is associated with severe complications such as bone pain, fractures and hypercalcemia. In the bone microenvironment, osteoclasts play an important role in bone remodeling and bone resorption. Metastatic cancer cells may increase osteoclast differentiation and activity by releasing inflammatory cytokines including receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and IL-8, leading to bone resorption and osteolytic lesions. The endogenous hormone melatonin is known to modulate bone resorption. Increasing evidence suggests that melatonin inhibits cancer cell proliferation, angiogenesis and metastasis. Up until now, the inhibitory role of melatonin in osteolytic bone metastasis has remained unclear. In In vitro study, we observed that melatonin inhibits the differentiation of precursor osteoclasts and promotes apoptosis in mature osteoclasts. We injected mice tibia with luciferase-labeled osteolytic cancer cell lines (lung cancer: A549, prostate cancer: PC-3) to establish bone metastasis. After 4 weeks of intraperitoneal injection with melatonin, IVIS fluorescence signaling indicated that melatonin inhibited tumor growth. X-ray imaging of the bone revealed an improvement in bone resorption after melatonin treatment. In In vitro melatonin also reduced RANKL protein and mRNA expression in the A549 and PC-3 cell lines. Our data indicate that melatonin improves bone mass by inhibiting the expression of cancer-derived osteolytic factors and by promoting apoptosis in mature osteoclasts. Our future investigations will seek to determine the signaling pathway involved in melatonin-regulated RANKL expression in cancer cells. In summary, our findings provide insight into the benefits of melatonin treatment in osteolytic bone metastasis.

Citation Format: Jyun-Lin Lai, An-Chen Chang, Po-Chun Chen, Chih-Hsin Tang. Melatonin inhibits osteolytic bone metastasis through interrupting cancer cells-derived osteolytic factor and reduce osteoclast differentiation [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2019; 2019 Mar 29-Apr 3; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2019;79(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 1970.