alexa Mechanisms of cytotoxic effects of heavy water (deuterium oxide: D2O) on cancer cells.


Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics

Author(s): Takeda H, Nio Y, Omori H, Uegaki K, Hirahara N,

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Abstract Heavy water (deuterium oxide: D2O) contains a neutron and a proton in its hydrogen atoms and shows a variety of biologic activities different from normal light water. In the present study the cytotoxic and cytostatic activity of D2O was assessed using a BALB/c-3T3 fibroblast cell line and four human digestive organ cancer cell lines, i.e. HepG2 hepatic, Panc-1 pancreatic, KATO-3 gastric and Colo205 colonic cancer cell lines. Against four cancer cell lines, D2O showed significant cytotoxic and cytostatic effects in a MTT assay and a Trypan blue dye exclusion assay, at concentrations higher than 30\% D2O. These effects were time and dose dependent, and the IC50 after 72 h of culture ranged from 20 to 30\% D2O in the Trypan blue dye exclusion assay and from 30 to 50\% D2O in the MTT assay. By contrast, IC50 for the 3T3 fibroblast cell line after 72 h of culture was about 15\% in the Trypan blue dye exclusion assay and 50\% inhibition was not achieved in the MTT assay. Furthermore, D2O was found to significantly inhibit the invasion of tumor cells in a Matrigel invasion chamber assay at concentrations higher than 10\% D2O. Incubation with D2O resulted in enlargement of cells, nuclear pyknosis and vacuolization, and immunostaining studies demonstrated that D2O treatment resulted in an increase in nuclear nick-end-labeling, which indicates DNA fragmentation, in KATO-3 and HepG2 cell lines. Furthermore, the nucleic acids and protein synthesis inhibition assay suggested that the inhibition of DNA synthesis may be one of the mechanisms responsible for the antitumor effects of D2O. Furthermore, oral administration of D2O resulted in a significant inhibition of the growth of Panc-1 tumor xenografted s.c. in nude mice, but survival was not prolonged. In conclusion, D2O has cytotoxic and cytostatic activities against human digestive organ cancer cell lines, and D2O may be a potential anticancer agent.
This article was published in Anticancer Drugs and referenced in Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics

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