Combination of cyclophosphamide and double-stranded DNA demonstrates synergistic toxicity against established xenografts

Cancer Cell Int. 2015 Mar 19;15:32. doi: 10.1186/s12935-015-0180-6. eCollection 2015.


Background: Extracellular double-stranded DNA participates in various processes in an organism. Here we report the suppressive effects of fragmented human double-stranded DNA along or in combination with cyclophosphamide on solid and ascites grafts of mouse Krebs-2 tumor cells and DNA preparation on human breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF-7.

Methods: Apoptosis and necrosis were assayed by electrophoretic analysis (DNA nucleosomal fragmentation) and by measurements of LDH levels in ascitic fluid, respectively. DNA internalization into MCF-7 was analyzed by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy.

Results: Direct cytotoxic activity of double-stranded DNA (along or in combination with cyclophosphamide) on a solid transplant was demonstrated. This resulted in delayed solid tumor proliferation and partial tumor lysis due to necrosis of the tumor and adjacent tissues. In the case of ascites form of tumor, extensive apoptosis and secondary necrosis were observed. Similarly, MCF-7 cells showed induction of massive apoptosis (up to 45%) as a result of treatments with double-stranded DNA preparation.

Conclusions: Double-stranded DNA (along or in combination with cyclophosphamide) induces massive apoptosis of Krebs-2 ascite cells and MCF-7 cell line (DNA only). In treated mice it reduces the integrity of gut wall cells and contributes to the development of systemic inflammatory reaction.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Ascites Krebs-2; Cyclophosphamide; Double-stranded DNA; MCF-7; Necrosis; Sepsis.