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Toxicol Mech Methods. 2010 Oct;20(8):482-6. doi: 10.3109/15376516.2010.508080.

Comparison of XTT and Alamar blue assays in the assessment of the viability of various human cancer cell lines by AT-101 (-/- gossypol).

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  • 1Section of Molecular Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Arts, Celal Bayar University, 45140, Muradiye, Manisa, Turkey.


This study compared the two different commercially available in vitro viability assays: XTT and Alamar blue (AB), to detect anti-proliferative effects of AT-101, a cotton plant extract, on six different human carcinoma cell lines including: prostate (PC-3 and DU-145), breast (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231), and ovary (OVCAR-3 and MDAH 2774) in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Cells were exposed to AT-101 in the concentration range of 2.5-40 ┬ÁM for 24, 48, and 72 h. The AB assay was slightly more sensitive than the XTT assay in the evaluation of AT-101 at 24 h, suggesting that the AB assay might be used for detecting early changes in cell viability as compared to the XTT assay. Moreover, the AB assay showed less intra-assay variability as compared to the XTT. The non-toxic, non-radioactive AB metabolism assay allows rapid assessment of large numbers of samples, with simple equipment and at reduced cost for continuous monitoring of cancer cell viability, and, thus, should be accepted as a suitable alternative viability method.

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