Objectives: To explore the effect of the β-adrenoreceptor signaling pathway on myeloma cells. Methods: The myeloma U266 cell line was treated with epinephrine and propranolol. Cell proliferation was analyzed by MTS assay. Apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry. The β-receptor subtype and the key enzyme of epinephrine were identified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results: Epinephrine (5-50 μM) promoted U266 cell growth in a dose-dependent manner and neutralized the inhibition effect of bortezomib (25 and 50 ng/mL) in vitro. Cell proliferation was inhibited by a β-receptor antagonist, propranolol, at a concentration of 50-200 μM. The proportions of early and late apoptotic cells were enhanced after treatment with propranolol. The expression of caspase 3/7, 8, and 9 was elevated in propranolol-treated myeloma cells. Both β1- and β2-adrenoceptor mRNAs were expressed in the U266 cell line. Key enzymes dopamine hydroxylase and tyrosinehydroxylase were identified in myeloma cells. Conclusions: Our results reveal that epinephrine stimulates myeloma cell growth in vitro while the β-blocker propranolol has an antiproliferative effect, indicating that stress hormones may trigger the progression of myeloma.

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