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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1991 Jul 31;178(2):686-93.

Bufalin as a potent inducer of differentiation of human myeloid leukemia cells.

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Department of Biochemical Toxicology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan.


Bufalin was found to be a potent inducer of differentiation in human erythroleukemia K562 cells by examination of various differentiation markers (as assessed by the morphology, histochemistry, and the abilities to phagocytose latex particles, to reduce nitro-blue tetrazolium and to develop Fc receptors). Bufalin, at a concentration as low as 10 nM, also produced a strong differentiation-inducing activity in three other human leukemia-derived cell lines (human promyelocytic HL60, monoblastic U937 and myeloblastic ML1). Treatment of K562 cells with other cardiotonic steroids, such as cinobufagin, ouabain and digitoxigenin, at the concentration of 10 nM for four days resulted in weak or no effect on the cells. These findings suggest that bufalin might have potentiality as a new agent in the differentiation therapy for human myelogenous leukemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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