A Bioassay for the Cytotoxicity of Gemcitabine Using the Marine Ciliate Euplotes vannus

Abstract

This study investigated the cytotoxicity of gemcitabine using the marine ciliate Euplotes vannus as the test organism. The median lethal concentrations (LC50 values) were determined using acute toxicity tests within an exposure time of 30 min with 0, 6, 12, 24, and 48 mg mL−1 gemcitabine. The median inhibition effect (IC50 value) on the growth of the ciliate cells was examined using chronic toxicity tests within 5 days (120 h) after exposure for 30 min with 0, 0.7, 3.5, 7, and 14 mg mL−1 gemcitabine. The 30-min LC50 value was 10.66mg mL−1. The LC50 values decreased with increasing exposure times and well fitted to the toxicity curve equation LC50 = 10.93 + 28.4e−0.19t (R2 =0.93; P < 0.05, t=exposure time). The IC50 value for growth rates was 7.05 mg mL−1, and the inhibition effect on growth rates well fitted to the model equation r%= 0.8681e−0.0782Cgem (r% means growth rate with inhibition by gemcitabine, Cgem means concentrations of gemcitabine, R2 =0.99 and P< 0.05). The LC50 values of a wide range of gemcitabine concentrations could therefore be predicted for any given exposure time. These results suggest that the clinical dose of gemcitabine (20mg mL−1) was higher than the 30-min LC50 value, which was almost the same as the 6-min LC50 value (19.88 mg mL−1) for E. vannus cells. The results also demonstrate that E. vannus can be used as a robust test organism for bioassays of chemotherapeutic drugs during short exposure periods.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31672308 and 40206021).

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Correspondence to Henglong Xu.

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Wang, Q., Xu, H. & Warren, A. A Bioassay for the Cytotoxicity of Gemcitabine Using the Marine Ciliate Euplotes vannus. J. Ocean Univ. China 18, 675–679 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11802-019-4004-5

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Key words

  • bioassay
  • cytotoxicity
  • Euplotes vannus
  • gemcitabine
  • toxicology