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Development and molecular characterization of polymeric micro-nanofibrous scaffold of a defined 3-D niche for in vitro chemosensitivity analysis against acute myeloid leukemia cells

Authors Nair MS, Mony U, Menon D, Koyakutty M, Sidharthan N, Pavithran K, Nair SV, Menon K, Jojo A

Received 6 January 2015

Accepted for publication 15 February 2015

Published 15 May 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 3603—3622


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Maya S Nair,1 Ullas Mony,1 Deepthy Menon,1 Manzoor Koyakutty,1 Neeraj Sidharthan,2 Keechilat Pavithran,2 Shantikumar V Nair,1 Krishnakumar N Menon1

1Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, 2Department of Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Kerala, India

Abstract: Standard in vitro drug testing employs 2-D tissue culture plate systems to test anti-leukemic drugs against cell adhesion-mediated drug-resistant leukemic cells that harbor in 3-D bone marrow microenvironments. This drawback necessitates the fabrication of 3-D scaffolds that have cell adhesion-mediated drug-resistant properties similar to in vivo niches. We therefore aimed at exploiting the known property of polyurethane (PU)/poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) in forming a micro-nanofibrous structure to fabricate unique, not presented before, as far as we are aware, 3-D micro-nanofibrous scaffold composites using a thermally induced phase separation technique. Among the different combinations of PU/PLLA composites generated, the unique PU/PLLA 60:40 composite displayed micro-nanofibrous morphology similar to decellularized bone marrow with increased protein and fibronectin adsorption. Culturing of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) KG1a cells in FN-coated PU/PLLA 60:40 shows increased cell adhesion and cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance to the drugs cytarabine and daunorubicin without changing the original CD34+/CD38-/CD33- phenotype for 168 hours compared to fibronectin tissue culture plate systems. Molecularly, as seen in vivo, increased chemoresistance is associated with the upregulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl2 and the cell cycle regulatory protein p27Kip1leading to cell growth arrest. Abrogation of Bcl2 activity by the Bcl2-specific inhibitor ABT 737 led to cell death in the presence of both cytarabine and daunorubicin, demonstrating that the cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance induced by Bcl2 and p27Kip1in the scaffold was similar to that seen in vivo. These results thus show the utility of a platform technology, wherein drug testing can be performed before administering to patients without the necessity for stromal cells.

Keywords: daunorubicin, cytarabine, Bcl2, p27Kip1, cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance

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