Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 271–278 | Cite as

Intracellular glutathione and cytotoxicity of platinum complexes

  • L. Pendyala
  • P. J. Creaven
  • R. Perez
  • J. R. Zdanowicz
  • D. Raghavan
Original Article Glutathione, Cytotoxicity Platinum


Although there have been a number of reports correlating cellular GSH levels with cytotoxicity of platinum agents, none has examined the relationship between GSH concentrations and cytotoxicity. In this study, using a highly specific HPLC method for measuring GSH and expressing GSH as concentration and also per cell number, we evaluated the correlation between GSH levels and the cytotoxicity to five agents in ten human tumor cell lines. The five platinum agents included the platinum(II) complexes cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin and platinum(IV) complexes iproplatin and tetraplatin. The correlation between intracellular GSH concentration and cytotoxicity was highly significant only for iproplatin (P=0.002) followed by tetraplatin, which demonstrated a trend toward statistical significance (P=0.06). Cytotoxicity of the other platinum complexes showed no relation to GSH concentration, cisplatin itself showing aP-value of 0.09. In contrast, the GSH levels normalized to cell number showed a statistically significant correlation with the cytotoxicity of four of the five platinum agents, the exception being carboplatin; the strongest correlation observed was that for iproplatin and tetraplatin. Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity in these cell lines showed no correlation with cytotoxicity of any of the platinum complexes. Our results, from the analyses of both GSH concentration as well as GSH per cell number, suggest a significantly higher interaction between GSH and iproplatin compared with the other platinum agents. Moreover, our data suggest that relationships between cytotoxicity and GSH levels on a per-cell basis may not persist when differences in cell volume are taken into account.

Key words

Glutathione Cytotoxicity Platinum 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Pendyala
    • 1
  • P. J. Creaven
    • 1
  • R. Perez
    • 1
  • J. R. Zdanowicz
    • 1
  • D. Raghavan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Investigational Therapeutics, Division of MedicineRoswell Park Cancer InstituteBuffaloUSA

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