The effect of celastrol in combination with 5-fluorouracil on proliferation and apoptosis of gastric cancer cell lines


Oncol Res. 2024 Jun 20;32(7):1231-1237. doi: 10.32604/or.2024.047187. eCollection 2024.


BACKGROUND: Despite the availability of chemotherapy drugs such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), the treatment of some cancers such as gastric cancer remains challenging due to drug resistance and side effects. This study aimed to investigate the effect of celastrol in combination with the chemotherapy drug 5-FU on proliferation and induction of apoptosis in human gastric cancer cell lines (AGS and EPG85-257).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this in vitro study, AGS and EPG85-257 cells were treated with different concentrations of celastrol, 5-FU, and their combination. Cell proliferation was assessed using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The synergistic effect of 5-FU and celastrol was studied using Compusyn software. The DNA content at different phases of the cell cycle and apoptosis rate was measured using flow cytometry.

RESULTS: Co-treatment with low concentrations (10% inhibitory concentration (IC10)) of celastrol and 5-FU significantly reduced IC50 (p < 0.05) so that 48 h after treatment, IC50 was calculated at 3.77 and 6.9 μM for celastrol, 20.7 and 11.6 μM for 5-FU, and 5.03 and 4.57 μM for their combination for AGS and EPG85-257 cells, respectively. The mean percentage of apoptosis for AGS cells treated with celastrol, 5-FU, and their combination was obtained 23.9, 41.2, and 61.9, and for EPG85-257 cells 5.65, 46.9, and 55.7, respectively. In addition, the 5-FU and celastrol-5-FU combination induced cell cycle arrest in the synthesis phase.

CONCLUSIONS: Although celastrol could decrease the concentration of 5-fluorouracil that sufficed to suppress gastric cancer cells, additional studies are required to arrive at conclusive evidence on the anticancer effects of celastrol.

PMID:38948023 | PMC:PMC11209740 | DOI:10.32604/or.2024.047187