Document Detail

Inhibition of P-glycoprotein-mediated multidrug resistance by unfractionated heparin: a new potential chemosensitizer for cancer therapy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15876859     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Anticoagulant treatment with heparins is frequently used to prevent venous thromboembolism in cancer patients. In the present study, we investigated the ability of unfractionated heparin (UFH) to inhibit P-glycoprotein (Pgp)-mediated multidrug resistance (MDR) on human breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB231) and its doxo-resistant subline. Results were a compared to the classic reversing agent, Verapamil (Ver), used, as reference at 50 microM concentration. We analysed the Pgp function by calcein acetoxymethylester (calcein-AM) uptake, a fluorescent marker substrate, before and after in vitro exposure to UFH at clinically achievable dose of 20 U/ml. The mean percentage of calcein-AM retained into cancer cells after 3 and 12 h were 32 +/- 10.9 and 45 +/- 12.3, respectively, for UFH pretreated cells and 25.3 +/- 8.7 and 29.4 +/- 10.4, respectively, for Ver pretreated cells when compared to control cells, receiving only medium. Pgp activity was studied by measuring intracellular drug accumulation in doxo-resistant subline, treated (2 h) with either UFH or Ver, prior exposure (2 h) at different doxo concentrations (2, 4 and 8 microM). The mean percentage of remaining intracellular doxo were 55.4 +/- 4.5 , 51.4 +/- 3.9 and 50 +/- 1.8 percent, respectively for UFH treated cells, and 44.1 +/- 5.8, 39.3 +/- 4.4 and 19.4 +/- 8.6%, respectively, for Ver treated cells as compared with control cells, receiving only doxo. These results were consistent with the increase of sensitivity to doxo of the same doxo-resistant subline resulting in a 2.2, 2.6 and 2.2-fold increase, respectively, for UFH-doxo combination and 2.2, 2.5 and 2.0-fold respectively, for Ver-doxo combination respect to cells receiving doxo alone, as assessed by MTT test. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate the potentiating effect in vitro of UFH on doxo accumulation and cytotoxicity in the MDA-231 cell line and its doxo-resistant subline and suggest that UFH could to be used, as an potential chemosensitizer, in clinical chemotherapy for increasing in vivo, the efficacy of the anticancer treatment.
Antonio Angelini; Concetta Di Febbo; Giuliano Ciofani; Marcello Di Nisio; Giovanna Baccante; Carmine Di Ilio; Franco Cuccurullo; Ettore Porreca
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2005-03-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cancer biology & therapy     Volume:  4     ISSN:  1538-4047     ISO Abbreviation:  Cancer Biol. Ther.     Publication Date:  2005 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-10-20     Completed Date:  2006-03-21     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101137842     Medline TA:  Cancer Biol Ther     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  313-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine and Aging, Shool of Medicine and Aging Research Center, Ce.S.I. Gabriele D'Annunzio, University Foundation, Chieti-Pescara, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Biological Transport
Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
Cell Line, Tumor
Doxorubicin / metabolism,  therapeutic use
Drug Resistance, Multiple / drug effects*
Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects*
Fluoresceins / metabolism
Heparin / pharmacology*
P-Glycoprotein / antagonists & inhibitors*
Verapamil / pharmacology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fluoresceins; 0/P-Glycoprotein; 148504-34-1/calcein AM; 23214-92-8/Doxorubicin; 52-53-9/Verapamil; 9005-49-6/Heparin

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