Verapamil upregulates sensitivity of human colon and breast cancer cells to LAK-cytotoxicity in vitro

Eur J Cancer. 1991;27(11):1393-5. doi: 10.1016/0277-5379(91)90018-9.


Pretreatment of human colon cancer LoVo-H cells and human breast cancer ZR-75 1A cells with low doses of verapamil, a Ca2+ channel blocker, for 48 h has a slight growth stimulatory effect and substantially increases cell sensitivity to lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) mediated cytotoxicity in the standard 51Cr release assay. The role of intracellular Ca2+ levels in determining verapamil effect is demonstrated by cytochemical evidence of intracellular Ca2+ lowering in verapamil-treated cells and by the reversal by the Ca2+ ionophore A-23187 of verapamil-induced sensitivity to LAK-mediated cytotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Calcimycin / pharmacology
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated / immunology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / immunology
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects*
  • Verapamil / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Verapamil / pharmacology*


  • Calcimycin
  • Verapamil
  • Calcium