Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 11, pp 8301–8308 | Cite as

Effect of nisin and doxorubicin on DMBA-induced skin carcinogenesis—a possible adjunct therapy

  • Simran Preet
  • Sanjay Bharati
  • Anshul Panjeta
  • Rupinder Tewari
  • Praveen Rishi
Research Article


In view of the emergence of multidrug-resistant cancer cells, there is a need for therapeutic alternatives. Keeping this in mind, the present study was aimed at evaluating the synergism between nisin (an antimicrobial peptide) and doxorubicin (DOX) against DMBA-induced skin carcinogenesis. The possible tumoricidal activity of the combination was evaluated in terms of animal bioassay observations, changes in hisotological architecture of skin tissues, in situ apoptosis assay (TUNEL assay) and in terms of oxidant and antioxidant status of the skin tissues. In vivo additive effect of the combination was evidenced by larger decreases in mean tumour burden and tumour volume in mice treated with the combination than those treated with the drugs alone. Histological observations indicated that nisin-DOX therapy causes chromatin condensation and marginalisation of nuclear material in skin tissues of treated mice which correlated well with the results of TUNEL assay wherein a marked increase in the rate of apoptosis was revealed in tissues treated with the combination. A slightly increased oxidative stress in response to the adjunct therapy as compared to dox-alone-treated group was revealed by levels of lipid peroxidation (LPO) and nitrite generation in skin tissue-treated mice. An almost similar marginal enhancement in superoxide dismutase levels corresponding with a decrease in catalase activity could also be observed in nisin + DOX-treated groups as compared to nisin and dox-alone-treated groups. These results point towards the possible use of nisin as an adjunct to doxorubicin may help in developing alternate strategies to combat currently developing drug resistance in cancer cells.


Nisin Doxorubicin Adjunct Skin cancer Anti-cancer peptide 



The authors are grateful to Dr. B.N. Dutta for his support in histopthological analysis and Dr. S.N Sanyal for sharing his immense knowledge with us.

Authors’ contributions

Conceived and designed the study: SP. Performed lab analysis: SB and AP. Performed data analysis: SB. Wrote the manuscript: SP and PR. Provided lab facilities and helped in data analysis: SP, PR and RT.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simran Preet
    • 1
  • Sanjay Bharati
    • 1
  • Anshul Panjeta
    • 1
  • Rupinder Tewari
    • 2
  • Praveen Rishi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biophysics, Basic Medical Sciences Block-2Panjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of Microbial TechnologyPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology, Basic Medical Sciences Block-1Panjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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