Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Effects of Tempol, Methotrexate, and Their Combinations on the MCF7 Breast Cancer Cell Line

ACS Omega. 2024 Feb 1;9(6):6658-6662. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.3c07624. eCollection 2024 Feb 13.


Breast cancer holds the top position among the cancers occurring in women. Despite the utilization of surgical removal, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, there is currently no conclusive treatment available to prevent breast cancer. New treatment approaches are being studied since traditional chemotherapeutics also damage healthy cells. Tempol (TPL) is a potent antioxidant agent that has been shown to exhibit anticancer activity. The objective of this research was to examine the impacts on cell proliferation and apoptosis by using methotrexate (MTX) and TPL individually and in combination on MCF7 breast cancer cells. MCF7 cells were exposed to TPL, MTX, and MTX + TPL for 48 h. The effects of the administered drugs on cell viability were determined using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay analysis was conducted to assess the levels of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2, the pro-apoptotic protein Bax, and the activity of caspase-3 in MCF7 cells. Increasing concentrations of TPL and MTX significantly decreased the proliferation in MCF7 cells in both solo and combined use. Solo and combined use of TPL and MTX significantly increased caspase-3 activity and Bax levels and significantly decreased Bcl-2 levels in the cells. This study revealed that the solo use of TPL and MTX inhibited proliferation and increased apoptotic activity in the cells. In addition, TPL increased the antiproliferative and apoptosis efficiency of MTX on cancer cells as a result of the combined use of these drugs.