Background: The Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) is one of the most frequent cancer types.
Failure of treatment of OSCC is potentially lethal because of local recurrence, regional lymph node metastasis,
and distant metastasis. Chemotherapy plays a vital role through suppression of tumorigenesis. Cyclosporine A
(CsA), an immunosuppressant drug, has been efficiently used in allograft organ transplant recipients to prevent
rejection, and also has been used in a subset of patients with autoimmunity related disorders. The present study
aims to investigate novel and effective chemotherapeutic drugs to overcome drug-resistance in the treatment of
Methods: Cells were incubated in the standard way. Cell viability was assayed using the MTT assay. Cell proliferation
was determined using colony formation assay. The cell cycle assay was performed using flow cytometry.
Apoptosis was assessed using fluorescence-activated cell sorting after stained by the Annexin V-fluorescein
isothiocyanate (FITC). Cell migration and invasion were analyzed using wound healing assay and tranwell. The
effect of COX-2, c-Myc, MMP-9, MMP-2, and NFATc1 protein expression was determined using Western blot
analysis while NFATc1 mRNA expression was determined by RT-PCR.
Results: In vitro studies indicated that CsA inhibited partial OSCC growth by inducing cell cycle arrest, apoptosis,
and the migration and invasion of OSCC cells. We also demonstrated that CsA could inhibit the expression
of NFATc1 and its downstream genes COX-2, c-Myc, MMP-9, and MMP-2 in OSCC cells. Furthermore, we
analyzed the expression of NFATc1 in head and neck cancer through the Oncomine database. The data was
consistent with the experimental findings.
Conclusion: The present study initially demonstrated that CsA could inhibit the progression of OSCC cells and
can mediate the signal molecules of NFATc1 signaling pathway, which has strong relationship with cancer
development. That explains us CsA has potential to explore the possibilities as a novel chemotherapeutic drug
for the treatment of OSCC.