The effect of various antineoplastic drugs (1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine, 5-azacytidine, cisplatin, dactinomycin, epirubicin, vincristine, and the activated metabolite of cyclophosphamide, mafosfamide) on cell differentiation in vitro was investigated using a human alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cell clone, RMZ-RC2. These cells are able to differentiate spontaneously from small mononuclear proliferating elements to terminal, extremely elongated multinuclear structures resembling myotubes; morphological differentiation is accompanied by the expression of myosins, in particular the embryonic isoform, which is used in this study as a specific marker of myogenic differentiation. The proportion of differentiated myosin-positive cells, which was around 10-15% in control cultures 10-15 days after seeding, was increased by some drug treatments up to 30-40%; the proportion of multinuclear elements was also increased. 1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine and 5-azacytidine were the most effective drugs, while dactinomycin had no effect; other molecules ranked in between. Since significant increments were usually observed after treatment with drug doses inhibiting cell growth, the kinetic behavior of the absolute number of myosin-positive cells or nuclei was analyzed to assess whether some effects could be due to a negative selection of proliferating, undifferentiated cells. This appeared to be the case for vincristine and epirubicin, while 1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine, 5-azacytidine, and, to a lesser degree, mafosfamide and cisplatin actually seemed to increase differentiation ability.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research