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Neoplasma. 1998;45(4):248-53.

Direct interaction between verapamil and doxorubicin causes the lack of reversal effect of verapamil on P-glycoprotein mediated resistance to doxorubicin in vitro using L1210/VCR cells.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Physiology and Genetics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Vlárska, Bratislava.


Mouse leukemic cell subline L1210/VCR exerts expressive multidrug resistance (MDR) that is mediated by P-glycoprotein. Cells originally adapted to vincristine are also extremely resistant to doxorubicin. Resistance to both vincristine and doxorubicin is connected with depression of drug uptake. While resistance of L1210 cells to vincristine could be reversed by verapamil as chemosensitizer, resistance of cells to doxorubicin was insensitive to verapamil. Action of verapamil (well-known inhibitor of PGP activity) on multidrug resistance was often used as evidence that MDR is mediated by PGP. From this point it may be possible that the resistance of L1210/VCR cells to vincristine is mediated by PGP and the resistance to doxorubicin is mediated by other PGP-independent system. Another and more probable explanation of different effect of verapamil on resistance of L1210/VCR cells to vincristine and doxorubicin may be deduced from the following fact: Using UV spectroscopy we found that doxorubicin dissolved in water buffered medium interacts effectively with verapamil. This interaction may be responsible for the decrease of concentration of both drugs in free effective form and consequently for higher survival of cells. In contrast to doxorubicin vincristine does not give any interaction with verapamil that is measurable by UV spectroscopy and resistance of L1210/VCR cells to vincristine may be fully reversed by verapamil.

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