Home Neoplasma 2013 Neoplasma Vol.60, No.3, p.262-273, 2013

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Founded: 1954
ISSN 0028-2685
ISSN 1338-4317 (online)

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Neoplasma Vol.60, No.3, p.262-273, 2013

Title: Low concentrations of Rhodamine-6G selectively destroy tumor cells and improve survival of melanoma transplanted mice

Abstract: Rhodamine-6G is a fluorescent dye binding to mitochondria, thus reducing the intact mitochondria number and inhibiting mitochondrial metabolic activity. Resultantly, the respiratory chain functioning becomes blocked, the cell “suffocated” and eventually destroyed. Unlike normal cells, malignant cells demonstrate a priori reduced mitochondrial numbers and aberrant metabolism. Therefore, a turning point might exist, when Rhodamine-induced loss of active mitochondria would selectively destroy malignant, but spare normal cells. Various malignant vs. non-malignant cell lines were cultured with Rhodamine-6G at different concentrations. In addition, C57Bl mice were implanted with B16-F10 melanoma and treated with Rhodamine-6G at different dosage/time regimens. Viability and proliferation of cultured tumor cells were time and dose-dependently inhibited, up to 90%, by Rhodamine-6G, with profound histological signs of cell death. By contrast, inhibition of normal control cell proliferation hardly exceeded 15-17%. Melanoma-transplanted mice receiving Rhodamine-6G demonstrated prolonged survival, improved clinical parameters, inhibited tumor growth and metastases count, compared to their untreated counterparts. Twice-a-week 10-6M Rhodamine-6G regimen yielded the most prominent results. We conclude that malignant, but not normal, cells are selectively destroyed by low doses of Rhodamine-6G. In vivo, such treatment selectively suppresses tumor progression and dissemination, thus improving prognosis. We suggest that selective anti-tumor properties of Rhodamine-6G are based on unique physiologic differences in energy metabolism between malignant and normal cells. If found clinically relevant, low concentrations of Rhodamine-6G might be useful for replacing, or backing up, more aggressive nonselective chemotherapeutic compounds.

Keywords: warburg effect, tumor, cell culture, melanoma, rhodamine-6G, mitochondria
Published online: 30-Jan-2013
Year: 2013, Volume: 60, Issue: 3 Page From: 262, Page To: 273

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