Staurosporine-induced apoptosis and hydrogen peroxide-induced necrosis in two human breast cell lines.

John Nelson, A.L. McKeague, David Wilson

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58 Citations (Scopus)


The use of apoptosis-inducing agents in the treatment of malignant cancer is increasingly being considered as a therapeutic approach. In this study, the induction of apoptosis and necrosis was examined in terms of temporal dose responses, comparing a malignant and nonmalignant breast cell line. Staurosporine (SSP)-induced apoptosis and H2O2-induced necrosis were evaluated by two cytotoxicity assays, neutral red (NR) and methyl-thiazolyl tertrazolium (MTT), in comparison with a differential dye uptake assay, using Hoechst33342/propidium iodide (Hoechst/PI). Confirmatory morphological assessment was also performed by routine resin histology and transmission electron microscopy. Cell viability was assessed over a 0.5-48 h time course. In nonmalignant HBL-100 cells, 50 nM SSP induced 100% apoptosis after a 48 h exposure, while the same exposure to SSP caused only 4% apoptosis in metastatic T47D cells. Although complete apoptosis of both cell lines was induced by 50 M SSP, this effect was delayed in T47D (24 h) compared with HBL-100 (4 h). Results also showed that neither MTT or NR can distinguish between the modes of cell death, nor detect the early onset of apoptosis revealed by Hoechst/PI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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