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Tissue Cell. 1996 Dec;28(6):687-701.

Flow cytometric and ultrastructural aspects of the synergistic antitumor activity of vitamin C-vitamin K3 combinations against human prostatic carcinoma cells.

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Department of Urology, Summa Health System / Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown 44272, USA.


Transmission and scanning electron microscopy and flow cytometry were employed to characterize the cytotoxic effects of vitamin C (VC), vitamin K3 (VK3), or VC-VK3 combinations on a human prostate carcinoma cell line (DU145) following a 1-h vitamin treatment and a 24-h incubation in culture medium. Cells exposed to VC exhibited membranous blebs, aberrant microvillar morphology, mitochondria with swollen cristae and intramitochondrial deposits, as well as nucleoli with segregated components. VK3-treated cells displayed a damaged cytoskeleton and membranes, a cytoplasm which contained large lumen, condensed polysomes, and severely damaged mitochondria with residual bodies, and nuclei which exhibited chromatic condensation, pyknosis, and karyolysis. VC-VK3-treated cells exhibited characteristics consistent with necrosis, i.e. swollen mitochondria and swollen, achromatic nuclei with marginated chromatin and intact envelopes, while other cells displayed characteristics consistent with apoptosis, i.e. expulsion of organelle-containing blebs, margination of nuclear chromatin, and segregation of nucleolar components. Vitamin treatment also decreased DNA synthesis, induced a S/G2 block in the cell cycle, and resulted in the accumulation of fragmented DNA. These results suggested that increased oxidative stress, subsequent membrane damage, and DNA fragmentation were responsible for enhanced cytotoxicity of the vitamin combination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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