NAD+ treatment decreases tumor cell survival by inducing oxidative stress

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2011 Jan 1;3:434-41. doi: 10.2741/e258.


NAD+ plays important roles in various biological processes. It has been shown that NAD+ treatment can decrease genotoxic agent-induced death of primary neuronal and astrocyte cultures, and NAD+ administration can reduce ischemic brain damage. However, the effects of NAD+ treatment on tumor cell survival are unknown. In this study we found that treatment of NAD+ at concentrations from 10 micromolar to 1 mM can significantly decrease the survival of various types of tumor cells such as C6 glioma cells. In contrast, NAD+ treatment did not impair the survival of primary astrocyte cultures. Our study has also indicated that oxidative stress mediates the effects of NAD+ on the survival of tumor cells, and P2X7 receptors and altered calcium homeostasis are involved in the effects of NAD+ on the cell survival. Collectively, our study has provided the first evidence that NAD+ treatment can decrease the survival of tumor cells by such mechanisms as inducing oxidative stress. Because NAD+ treatment can selectively decrease the survival of tumor cells, NAD+ may become a novel agent for treating cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects*
  • Ethidium / analogs & derivatives
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • NAD / metabolism
  • NAD / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X7 / metabolism
  • Trypan Blue


  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X7
  • NAD
  • dihydroethidium
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Ethidium
  • Trypan Blue
  • Calcium