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Comparison of three cytotoxicity tests in the evaluation of the cytotoxicity of a spermine analogue on human breast cancer cell lines

  • Martina Holst
  • Stina Oredsson
Publishing year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 379-387
Publication/Series: Toxicology in Vitro
Volume: 19
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Using three cytotoxicity assays, we have investigated the effect of the spermine analogue N1,N11-diethylnorspermine (DENSPM)on four human breast cancer cell lines with different known genetic lesions. Cells were seeded in 96 well plates and DENSPM was added 24 h later to give final concentrations from 0.1 to 100 microM. At 24, 48 and 72 h of treatment, the protein content was determined with a modified Lowry assay. Mitochondrial activity was determined with the AlamarBlue and MTT assays. These two

assays differ with respect to where in the electron transport chain the reduction of the substrate takes place. Treatment with increasing concentrations of DENSPM resulted in differential responses in the four cell lines. There was a good of agreement between the protein content and the MTT assay showing increased negative effect with increased dose of DENSPM. The AlamarBlue assay on

the other hand showed a stimulation of substrate reduction compared to control at DENSPM concentrations that were inhibitory according to the protein content and MTT assay. Thus, the data clearly show that the MTT and AlamarBlue assays are not equivalent. Importantly, the AlamarBlue assay presumably also reflects cytoplasmic reduction of the substrate through DENSPM-induced mechanisms.


  • Zoology
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell proliferation
  • Human breast cancer
  • Mitochondrial activity
  • Spermine analogue


  • ISSN: 1879-3177
Stina Oredsson
E-mail: stina [dot] oredsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Functional zoology

+46 46 222 94 97



Principal investigator

LUCC - Lund University Cancer Centre

Research group

Animal Physiology


Cell proliferation

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD Students, main supervisor

Wendy Soria Sotillo

PhD Students, assistant supervisor

Atena Malakpour Permlid