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Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2013 Jan;15(1):62-7. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.4722. Epub 2013 Jan 5.

The Oncolytic Effect of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in Human Skin Cancer Cell Line, A431.

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Department of Virology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.



Oncolytic viruses have become of noticeable interest as a novel biological approach for selectively infecting cancer cells and triggering apoptosis in a number of malignant cells. Many researches are devoted to characterize more viruses with oncolytic properties.


Evidences on the oncolytic feature of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are conflicting; therefore, this study was designed to elucidate the possible role of RSV on the modulation of cell growth and apoptosis in the skin cancer cells.


Plaque assay was used to determine RSV titers. The cytotoxic effect of RSV in A431 (skin carcinoma cell line) was determined using MTT assay. The detection of apoptosis was performed via Annexin-V-FITC staining method and analyzed with flow cytometry.


The results indicated that A431 cell growth was inhibited following infection by RSV in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The most growth inhibitory effect of RSV was occurred at the MOI of 3, and 48 hour after infection. The inhibitory effect of RSV on the cell growth was accompanied by the induction of apoptosis in the skin cancer cells. The percentages of early and late apoptotic cells were increased following exposure to RSV in a concentration- and time-dependent manner.


This study delineated the beneficial role of RSV for growth regulation of skin cancer cells and highlighted the involvement of RSV in the induction of apoptosis in A431 cells. These findings might conduct evidence into the oncolytic properties of RSV in the skin cancer. Further studies are required to indicate intracellular targets for RSV-induced apoptosis in skin cancer cells.


Apoptosis; Flow Cytometry; Oncolytic Viruses; Skin Neoplasms

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