Lonidamine (LND), a metabolic modulator, sensitizes DB-1 human melanoma to doxorubicin (DOX) chemotherapy by acidifying and de-energizing the tumor. This report compares the effects of LND on two human melanoma lines, DB-1 and WM983B, which exhibit different metabolic properties. Using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry and Seahorse analysis, we show that DB-1 was more glycolytic than WM983B in vitro. 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) indicates that LND (100 mg/kg, i.p.) induces similar selective acidification and de-energization of WM983B xenografts in immunosuppressed mice. Over three hours, intracellular pH (pHi) of WM983B decreased from 6.91 ± 0.03 to 6.59 ± 0.10 (p = 0.03), whereas extracellular pH (pHe) of this tumor changed from 7.03 ± 0.05 to 6.89 ± 0.06 (p = 0.19). A decline in bioenergetics (β-NTP/Pi) of 55 ± 5.0% (p = 0.03) accompanied the decline in pHi of WM983B. Using 1H MRS with a selective multiquantum pulse sequence and Hadamard localization, we show that LND induced a significant increase in tumor lactate levels (p < 0.01). LND pre-treatment followed by DOX (10 mg/kg, i.v.) produced a growth delay of 13.7 days in WM983B (p < 0.01 versus control), a growth delay significantly smaller than the 25.4 days that occurred with DB-1 (p = 0.03 versus WM983B). Differences in relative levels of glycolysis may produce differential therapeutic responses of DB-1 and WM983B melanomas.
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