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Leukemia. 1997 Dec;11(12):2066-74.

Cellular pharmacology of mitoxantrone in p-glycoprotein-positive and -negative human myeloid leukemic cell lines.

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Department of Hematology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA.


Previous reports suggest that resistance to mitoxantrone in different tumor cell lines is unrelated to the overexpression of p-glycoprotein. In order to determine the role of p-glycoprotein in the cellular pharmacology of mitoxantrone flow cytometry and confocal microscopy were used to study two human myeloid leukemia cell lines selected for resistance to mitoxantrone (HL-60MX2) and doxorubicin (HL-60DOX). To optimize the detection of intracellular mitoxantrone, we determined the maximum excitation (607 nm) and emission (684 nm) wavelength by fluorescence spectroscopy. The modified flow cytometric conditions using 568.2 nm laser emission for excitation and a 620 nm long pass filter for fluorescence collection resulted in a 1-log increase in sensitivity, compared with standard 488-nm laser excitation. Uptake and retention of mitoxantrone in the presence of verapamil, a calcium channel blocker known to inhibit p-glycoprotein, were analyzed. Our results showed no change in uptake and retention of the drug in p-glycoprotein-negative mitoxantrone-resistant HL-60MX2 cells and in its sensitive parental line, HL-60s. In contrast, 3.1- and 2.4-fold increases were found in uptake and retention of mitoxantrone in p-glycoprotein-positive cells (HL-60DOX) incubated with verapamil. Confocal microscopy of intracellular drug distribution demonstrated reduced nuclear uptake, which could be reversed by verapamil, in HL-60DOX. A characteristic punctate pattern was observed for the intracytoplasmic drug distribution in HL-60DOX and HL-60MX2 cells and was partially modified by the presence of verapamil in HL-60DOX cells. Verapamil increased cytotoxicity of mitoxantrone two-fold in HL-60DOX cells, 1.4-fold in HL-60MX2, and had no effect in HL-60s. Our study demonstrates that the cellular pharmacology of mitoxantrone is affected by p-glycoprotein and can be reversed at least in part by verapamil. Other mechanisms of resistance however, seem to play a determinant role in the modulation of mitoxantrone cytotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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