, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 169-182

Differential cytotoxic effects of docetaxel in a range of mammalian tumor cell lines and certain drug resistant sublinesin vitro

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Thein vitro cytotoxic effects of docetaxel (Taxotere®; RP56976, NSC688503) proved both time and concentration dependent. Amongst thirteen human cell lines from various tumor types, exposure to increasing concentrations of docetaxel over 24 hrs resulted in a plateau-shaped dose response curve, suggesting that increased cell kill becomes more dependent on increased exposure duration than on concentration. IC50 concentrations (reducing survival by 50%) ranged from 0.13–3.3 ng/ml, with three neuroblastoma lines proving most sensitive and three breast and two colon carcinoma lines showing least sensitivity. There was significant cross-resistance to docetaxel in the classic multidrug resistant (MDR) Chinese hamster ovarian (CHO) CHRC5 line and the human lymphoblastoid CCRF-CEMVLB1000 line, as well as in two vincristine(VCR)-selected MDR MCF-7 sublines. All four of these MDR sublines overexpress P-glycoprotein (Pgp), as did a 6fold docetaxel-selected resistant CHO subline. As an apparent corollary, in two human teratoma lines selected for etoposide resistance and showing some cross-resistance to VCR and in two CHO sublines expressing low levels of VCR resistance, yet all proving Pgp positive, no docetaxel crossresistance was identified. Verapamil modulated docetaxel resistance only in sublines expressing resistance to the drug and overexpressing Pgp. Four other human tumor sublines selected for resistance to 5-fluorouracil, cisplatin or teniposide, showed a lack of cross-resistance to docetaxel. Furthermore, cross-resistance to docetaxel was not apparant in four epipodophyllotoxin-selected resistant sublines with alterations in topoisomerase II, indicating its effectiveness against tumor cells expressing the topoisomerase II-related MDR phenotype. Our observation that docetaxel cross-resistance was not automatically expressed by classic MDR tumour cells appears of interest and of potential clinical relevance.