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

Enhancement of CDDP cytotoxicity by caffeine is characterized by apoptotic cell death.

The ability of caffeine, an agent that suppresses cell replication by inhibiting deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) repair, to modulate the cytotoxicity of cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (CDDP) was investigated in murine lymphoma cell line EL-4. EL-4 cells were precultured with or without 20 micrograms/ml CDDP for 1 h and then cultured in the presence of 5 mM caffeine up to 48 h after reseeding. In CDDP-pretreated cells, suppression of cell growth and decrease in cell viability from 24 h were observed. Cell cycle arrest in G2 + M phase and a concomitant increase in both rhodamine 123 (R123) uptake and cell size (forward scatter) were observed in these cells. Treatment with caffeine alone suppressed growth rate, R123 uptake, cell size, and frequency of S phase fraction in the cell cycle. Combination of the two agents, CDDP+caffeine, strongly suppressed not only cell viability but also R123 uptake and cell size, compared with CDDP pretreatment alone. DNA histogram analysis by flow cytometry revealed that cultivation with caffeine hastened G2 + M arrest in CDDP-pretreated cells by reduction in the time of passing through S phase. DNA fragmentation was observed following incubation of CDDP-pretreated cells with caffeine for 16 h when marked accumulation in G2 + M phase was observed. The intensity of these ladder fragments increased in a time-related manner. These results demonstrate that enhancement of cytotoxic activity against CDDP-treated cells by caffeine is characterized by an acceleration of DNA degradation in G2 + M phase, namely apoptotic cell death. The fact that induction of DNA fragmentation during G2 + M phase by caffeine modulates the cytotoxicity of CDDP may give rise to a new combination regime of chemotherapy against malignant tumor cells.[1]


  1. Enhancement of CDDP cytotoxicity by caffeine is characterized by apoptotic cell death. Shinomiya, N., Shinomiya, M., Wakiyama, H., Katsura, Y., Rokutanda, M. Exp. Cell Res. (1994) [Pubmed]
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