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J Pineal Res. 1993 Jan;14(1):27-33.

Antiproliferative effect of pineal indoles on cultured tumor cell lines.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T.


The in vitro antiproliferative action of pineal indoles on several tumor cell lines including melanoma (B16), sarcoma (S180), macrophage-like cell line (PU5), fibroblasts (3T3), and choriocarcinoma (JAr) was examined by measuring the incorporation of 3H-thymidine by the tumor cells, and, in the case of melanoma cells, by also measuring the incorporation of 3H-leucine and 3H-uridine. Uptake of crystal violet was used to assess the viability of the tumor cells. The order of inhibitory potency of the indoles was found to be methoxytryptamine > melatonin, methoxytryptophol, hydroxytryptophol, and methoxyindoleacetic acid > serotonin and hydroxyindoleacetic acid. The possibility of an adverse effect of the indoles on the viability of normal cells was also investigated by employing a primary culture of rat hepatocytes. The release of glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase by hepatocytes was not affected by the indoles, although the release of glutamate-pyruvate transaminase was increased to a small extent and the uptake of crystal violet was slightly inhibited.

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