2-Deoxy-d-glucose (2DG) and 5-thio-d-glucose (5TG) are glucose antimetabolites that are known to be selectively toxic to hypoxic cells grown as single cells or as monolayer cultures. These analogues were toxic to Chinese hamster V79 cells grown as multicell spheroids even under aerobic conditions. When spheroids, 500- to 600-μm diameter, were exposed to 7.5mm of these chemicals for 3 days, the number of clonogenic cells per spheroid dropped to 50% for 5-thio-d-glucose and 20% for 2-deoxy-d-glucose, relative to control values. Survivals were reduced to less than 1% when the experiment was repeated in glucose-free medium. Scanning electron photomicrographs of spheroids treated with 7.5mm of either analogue showed extensive damage to the outer cells. The cell killing observed was much more than could be predicted on the basis of the hypoxic fraction known to be present in these spheroids. The crowded tumor-like environment may make the cells vulnerable to the cytotoxic action of glucose analogues and other glycolytic inhibitors.
Key wordscytotoxicity glucose analogues cancer chemotherapy spheroids
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