The neuroendocrine transdifferentiation has been found in many cancer cell types, such as prostate, lung and gastrointestinal cells and is accompanied by a lower patient life expectancy. The transdifferentiation process has been induced in vitro by the exposure to different stimuli in human lung adenocarcinoma. The aim of this work was to identify the morphological characteristics of the neuroendocrine phenotype in a human lung cancer cell line, induced by two cAMP elevating agents (IBMX and FSK). Our results showed two phenotypes, one produced by IBMX with higher volume, cell size and increased number of secondary projections, and the other produced by FSK with higher area, roughness of the membrane, cell neurite percentage, number of outgrowths per cell and increased number of primary projections. In conclusion, we describe some morphological and ultrastructural characteristics of the neuroendocrine phenotype in A549 human lung cancer cell line promoted by IBMX and FSK to contribute to the understanding of the autocrine or paracrine signaling within the tumor microenvironment.
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