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Monitoring the effects of doxorubicin on 3D-spheroid tumor cells in real-time

Authors Baek N, Seo OW, Kim M, Hulme J, An SSA

Received 11 May 2016

Accepted for publication 22 August 2016

Published 22 November 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 7207—7218


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati

Video abstract presented by Seong An.

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NamHuk Baek,1,* Ok Won Seo,1,* MinSung Kim,1 John Hulme,2 Seong Soo A An2

1Department of R & D, NanoEntek Inc., Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2Department of BioNano Technology Gachon University, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Recently, increasing numbers of cell culture experiments with 3D spheroids presented better correlating results in vivo than traditional 2D cell culture systems. 3D spheroids could offer a simple and highly reproducible model that would exhibit many characteristics of natural tissue, such as the production of extracellular matrix. In this paper numerous cell lines were screened and selected depending on their ability to form and maintain a spherical shape. The effects of increasing concentrations of doxorubicin (DXR) on the integrity and viability of the selected spheroids were then measured at regular intervals and in real-time. In total 12 cell lines, adenocarcinomic alveolar basal epithelial (A549), muscle (C2C12), prostate (DU145), testis (F9), pituitary epithelial-like (GH3), cervical cancer (HeLa), HeLa contaminant (HEp2), embryo (NIH3T3), embryo (PA317), neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y), osteosarcoma U2OS, and embryonic kidney cells (293T), were screened. Out of the 12, 8 cell lines, NIH3T3, C2C12, 293T, SH-SY5Y, A549, HeLa, PA317, and U2OS formed regular spheroids and the effects of DXR on these structures were measured at regular intervals. Finally, 5 cell lines, A549, HeLa, SH-SY5Y, U2OS, and 293T, were selected for real-time monitoring and the effects of DXR treatment on their behavior were continuously recorded for 5 days. A potential correlation regarding the effects of DXR on spheroid viability and ATP production was measured on days 1, 3, and 5. Cytotoxicity of DXR seemed to occur after endocytosis, since the cellular activities and ATP productions were still viable after 1 day of the treatment in all spheroids, except SH-SY5Y. Both cellular activity and ATP production were halted 3 and 5 days from the start of the treatment in all spheroids. All cell lines maintained their spheroid shape, except SHSY-5, which behaved in an unpredictable manner when exposed to toxic concentrations of DXR. Cytotoxic effects of DXR towards SH-SY5Y seemed to cause degradation of the extracellular matrix, since all cells were dismantled from the spheroid upon cell death. On the other hand, 293T spheroids revealed retarded cellular activity and ATP productions upon DXR treatment throughout the experiment. Since 293T was the embryonic kidney cells, the fast clearance or neutralizations could have made them resistant towards DXR. In conclusion, the same degree of sensitivity from the 2D system did not translate to a 3D culture system, resulting in higher IC50 values than the 2D system. The varying sensitivities and tolerances to drugs could be better understood with a 3D cell culture system.

Keywords: doxorubicin, 3D spheroid, cytotoxicity

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