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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The influence of atracurium, cisatracurium, and mivacurium on the proliferation of two human cell lines in vitro.

We tested the influence of atracurium and cisatracurium (final concentrations: 0, 0.96, 3.2, 9.6, 32, and 96 microM) on proliferation of human cells (hepatoma HepG2 cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells) in vitro. In additional experiments, glutathione, N-acetylcysteine, or carboxyl esterase was added before the addition of either relaxant. The number of cells counted after 72 h of incubation was expressed as a percentage of the mean cell number in wells incubated without additives. Atracurium and cisatracurium progressively decreased cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent pattern. With human umbilical vein endothelial cells, atracurium or cisatracurium (3.2 microM) decreased the cell count to 67.7 % (SD, 14.8%) and 50% (SD, 8.6%), respectively. Cell proliferation was not inhibited by mivacurium. The results were similar to those with HepG2 cells. Glutathione, N-acetylcysteine, and carboxyl esterase partially reversed the effects of atracurium and cisatracurium. When incubated in a buffer with glutathione, atracurium decreased the number of glutathione-sulfhydryl groups. The findings that atracurium and cisatracurium inhibit proliferation of human cell lines in vitro, but that mivacurium does not, and that this effect is alleviated by glutathione and N-acetylcysteine, as well as by the carboxyl esterase, indicate that the inhibition may be caused by the reactive acrylate metabolites.[1]


  1. The influence of atracurium, cisatracurium, and mivacurium on the proliferation of two human cell lines in vitro. Amann, A., Rieder, J., Fleischer, M., Niedermüller, P., Hoffmann, G., Amberger, A., Marth, C., Nigrovic, V., Pühringer, F. Anesth. Analg. (2001) [Pubmed]
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