Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 1994;33(4):331-9.

The influence of Cremophor EL on the cell cycle effects of paclitaxel (Taxol) in human tumor cell lines.

Author information

Radiation Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.


We have performed DNA flow analysis, mitotic index studies, time-lapse photography, and paclitaxel uptake studies of human tumor cell lines exposed to paclitaxel. DNA flow analysis demonstrated that cells began accumulating in G2/M within 6 hrs of exposure to paclitaxel; by 12 hrs over 50% of cells accumulated in G2/M at all concentrations tested. After 24 hrs of exposure to 10 nM paclitaxel, cells underwent non-uniform mitotic division resulting in multinucleated cells. Of cells treated with 30 nM to 1000 nM paclitaxel, 75% to 85% remained blocked in G2/M for up to 72 hrs. Although a large proportion of cells treated with higher concentrations of paclitaxel (10,000 nM) was blocked in G2/M, a significant proportion (10% to 40%) of these cells was also in G1. Cells exposed to lower concentrations of paclitaxel (10 nM to 1000 nM) in medium containing 0.135% (v/v) Cremophor EL also had a relatively large proportion in G1. Mitotic index studies demonstrated that the paclitaxel-induced G2/M block was initially a mitotic block and that cells remained in mitosis for up to 24 hrs. With additional time of exposure to paclitaxel, mitotic index and time-lapse studies indicated that cells attempted to complete mitosis; however, cytokinesis was inhibited and cells became multinucleated. Time-lapse photography revealed that paclitaxel markedly prolonged the time in mitosis from 0.5 hr to 15 hr. High levels of Cremophor EL (0.135% v/v) markedly reduced the number of cells in mitosis but did not alter the mitotic delay induced by paclitaxel. 3H-paclitaxel uptake studies revealed that high concentrations of Cremophor EL did reduce the rate of uptake of paclitaxel into cells but had little effect on total paclitaxel accumulation. These results confirm that paclitaxel has striking effects on the cell cycle and show that high concentrations of Cremophor EL are capable of inducing a cell cycle block distinct from the mitotic block seen with paclitaxel. These results also demonstrate that cells exposed to paclitaxel for longer than 24 hours attempt to complete mitosis but the process of cytokinesis is inhibited. Together with cytotoxicity data, these results indicate that entry into and exit out of mitosis are prerequisites for paclitaxel cytotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center