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Cytotoxic activity of gemcitabine, alone or in combination with mitotane, in adrenocortical carcinoma cell lines

Germano, Antonina, Rapa, Ida, Volante, Marco, Lo Buono, Nicola, Carturan, Sonia, Berruti, Alfredo, Terzolo, Massimo, Papotti, Mauro
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 2014 v.382 pp. 1-7
apoptosis, cytotoxicity, genes, interphase, mitotane, neoplasm cells
We aimed at investigating in vitro the cytotoxic activity (determined using WST-1, apoptosis and cell cycle assays) of gemcitabine, alone or in combination with mitotane, in mitotane-sensitive H295R and mitotane-insensitive SW-13 cells. Results of these experiments were compared with drug-induced modulation of RRM1 gene, the specific target of gemcitabine. In H295R cells, mitotane and gemcitabine combinations showed antagonistic effects and interfered with the gemcitabine-mediated inhibition of the S phase of the cell cycle. By contrast, in SW-13 cells, except when mitotane was sequentially administered prior to gemcitabine, the combination of the two drugs was synergistic. Such opposite effects were associated with opposite expression profiles of the target gene, with significant up-modulation in H295R but not in SW-13 under gemcitabine and mitotane combination treatment.