Visfatin is an adipokine with nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) activity, the concentration of which is higher in ascitic fluid than in serum, and is associated with ovarian cancer peritoneal dissemination. Furthermore, potentially important effects of visfatin on glucose metabolism have been previously reported. However, the mechanism underlying the effects of visfatin on ovarian cancer cell invasion, and whether this involves altered glucose metabolism, has not been elucidated. Here we tested the hypothesis that visfatin, which can reprogram cancer metabolism, promotes invasion by ovarian cancer spheroids. Visfatin increased glucose transporter (GLUT)1 expression and glucose uptake in adult granulosa cell tumor-derived spheroid cells (KGN), and also increased the activities of hexokinase 2 and lactate dehydrogenase. We showed a visfatin-induced increase in glycolysis in KGN cells. Moreover, visfatin increased the potential invasiveness of KGN spheroid cells by upregulating MMP2 (matrix metalloproteinase 2) and downregulating CLDN3 and CLDN4 (claudin 3 and 4) gene expression. Interestingly, an inhibitor of GLUT1 (STF-31) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDHA) abolished the stimulatory effect of visfatin on the potential invasiveness of KGN cells. More importantly, silencing expression of the NAMPT gene in KGN cells demonstrated its important effect on glycolysis and invasiveness in adult granulosa cell tumor cells. In summary, visfatin appears to increase adult granulosa cell tumor invasiveness through effects on glucose metabolism, and to be an important regulator of glucose metabolism in these cells
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