Original Paper

Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 304, Issue 9, pp 745-753

First online:

Tranilast inhibits the cell growth of normal human keratinocytes in vitro

  • Miyoko KuboAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kawasaki Medical SchoolDepartment of Cell Biology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences Email author 
  • , Ying ZhaoAffiliated withProvincial Key Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology, Dalian Medical University
  • , Takahiko MoriguchiAffiliated withDepartment of Sensory Science, Faculty of Health Science and Technology, Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare

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Tranilast is used clinically as a drug for hypertrophic scars or keloids. Recently, the roles of keratinocytes in the pathogenesis of those conditions have been noted. Therefore, we first examined the effect of tranilast on the cell growth of normal human keratinocytes. A cell growth assay demonstrated that the cell number significantly decreased during 48 h cultures with the addition of tranilast (5–400 μM) compared with a control (tranilast 0) in a dose-dependent manner. Morphologically, cell spreading was decreased and the cell body was elongated with higher concentrations (200–400 μM) of tranilast, and the cell area decreased significantly. The effect was not due to cytotoxicity. The inhibition of cell growth and the changes in cell morphology by the treatment of 100 μM tranilast reversed after the removal of the tranilast. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that F-actin and vinculin expression with tranilast-treated keratinocytes decreased significantly in a dose-dependent manner (100–400 μM). In addition, cell cycle examination showed that 400 μM of tranilast caused G0/G1 arrest with the keratinocytes. From these data we concluded that tranilast inhibited the growth of normal human keratinocytes, and one of its mechanisms may involve decreasing cell spreading by inhibition of F-actin fiber and focal contact formation with the cells.


Tranilast Keratinocytes Growth Cell spreading G0/G1 arrest