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Iran Biomed J. 2011;15(4):130-3.

Induction of apoptosis and non-apoptosis in human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) by cisplatin and caffeine.

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  • 1Dept. of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz. Iran.



Molecular targeted therapy by different cell death inducers are recently considered in cancer therapy. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of cisplatin and inositol trisphosphate kinase inhibitor (caffeine) on human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7). The pattern of cell death in MCF-7 cells following the exposure to cisplatin and caffeine in individual and combination forms was characterized.


MCF-7 cells at late exponential phase were divided into two groups: control and experimental groups. Experimental group was exposed to cisplatin, caffeine and combination of them and control group was treated by vehicle. Forty-eight hours after incubation, floating and attached cells were collected separately. Flow cytometry analysis and electron microscopy were carried out on both attached and floating cells.


Two types of apoptotic and non-apoptotic cells were observed in the floating cells as well as in sub G1 cells of both experimental and control groups by electron microscopy. Both early and late stages of apoptosis were characterized and the attached cells remained unaffected.


Although two different forms of cell death (apoptosis and non-apoptosis) were appeared in MCF-7 following exposure to cisplatin and caffeine, apoptosis was the major mechanism of cell death. The combination form of anti-cancer drugs with different mechanisms could decrease the dosage of employed anti-cancer drugs.

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