Bicalutamide (Bic) is frequently used in androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for treating prostate cancer. ADT-induced hypogonadism was reported to have the potential to lead to acute kidney injury (AKI). ADT was also shown to induce bladder fibrosis via induction of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β level. We hypothesized that Bic can likely induce renal fibrosis. To understand this, a cell model was used to explore expressions of relevant profibrotic proteins. Results indicated that Bic initiated multiple apoptotic and fibrotic pathways, including androgen deprivation, downregulation of the androgen receptor → phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase → Akt pathway, upregulation of the extrinsic apoptotic pathway- tumor necrosis factor α → nuclear factor κB → caspase-3, increased expressions of fibrosis-related proteins including platelet-derived growth factor β, fibronectin and collagen IV, and enhanced cell migration. The endoplasmic reticular stress pathway and smooth muscle actin were unaffected by Bic. Co-treatment with testosterone was shown to have an anti-apoptotic effect against Bic, suggesting a better outcome of Bic therapy if administered with an appropriate testosterone intervention. However, since Bic was found to inhibit the membrane transport and consumption rates of testosterone, a slightly larger dose of testosterone is recommended. In conclusion, these pathways can be considered to be pharmaceutically relevant targets for drug development in treating the adverse effects of Bic.
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