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<Text>Evaluation of protective effect of Amifostine on Dacarbazine induced genotoxicity </Text>
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<Text>Abstract </Text>
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<Text>Anticancer therapy with alkylating agents has been used for many years. Dacarbazine (DTIC) as an alkylating agent is used alone or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs. Using preventional strategies in order to inhibit formation of secondary cancers as a result of chemotherapy by DTIC is necessary. This study was undertaken to evaluate the genoprotective effects of amifostine on genotoxic effects of DTIC in cell culture condition. The comet assay method and HepG2 cells were used in this study. To determine the sufficient genotoxic concentration of dacarbazine, HepG2 cells were incubated with concentrations of 5, 10 and 20 µg/ml for 2 hours and effects were evaluated by the comet assay. The result of our investigation showed that in a two-hour period incubation of HepG2 cells with different concentration of DTIC, the concentration of 5 µg/ml could act as genotoxic factor which could be determined by comet assay method. In order to determine protective effects of amifostine on genotoxicity induced by DTIC, HepG2 cells were incubated with different concentrations of amifostine (2, 3 and 5 mg/ml) for 1 hour followed by 2-hour incubation period with DTIC (5µg/ml). One hour incubation of cells with different concentrations of amifostine before DTIC incubation indicated that at least 5 mg/ml concentration of amifostine can prevent genotoxic effects of DTIC on HepG2 cells in described condition. In conclusion amifostine could prevent DNA damage effect of DTIC on HepG2 cells. </Text>
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<Text>Keywords: DNA damage, Comet assay, DTIC, Amifostine </Text>
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<Text>1. Introduction </Text>
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<Text>Dacarbazine (DTIC) as an anticancer drug is used in combination with other chemotherapy drugs in treatment of several cancer types such as Hodgkin's disease, malignant melanoma, soft tissue sarcoma, neuroblastoma and fibrosarcomas (1-7). Although the clear mechanism of action of this drug is not known, it seems to acts as an alkylating agent (8-11). Liver has the key role in transformation of this prodrug to its reactive compound, methyl triazeno imidazole carboxamide (MTIC) which is able to attach an alkyl group to DNA. The repairing mechanisms of DNA are capable to repair these kinds of defects by a repairing enzyme called O-6-methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT). In the absence of active enzyme in repairing process, mutation which could lead cells to death may occur (9). Several studies showed that DTIC could act as a purine analog in order to interact with sulfhydryl groups in inhibition of DNA, RNA and protein synthesis (9, 11). By transportation of this drug to different parts of body, it could affect most of normal healthy cells and numerous side effects such as nausea, vomiting, neutropenia, myelosuppression and alopecia will appear. Chemoprotective agents and symptomatic treatments are suggested to reduce these side effects. Development of secondary neoplasia as a result of chemotherapy especially with alkylating agents is common (12-15). Collins et al (2000) reported an acute myeloid leukemia as a secondary cancer of treatment process by DTIC (16). An organic thiophosphate called amifostine could protect normal cells against toxic effects of anticancer drugs and radiotherapy, while it's not effective on neoplastic cells. Amifostine as a prodrug is activated by membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase to its active metabolite WR-1065 (17-19). It acts as a scavenger of oxygen free radicals and is able to bind to platinum and alkylating agents (20). Higher concentrations of alkaline phosphatase in normal cells and higher pH of normal tissues in comparison with cancerous cells leads to selective uptake of WR-1065 by normal cells (19, 21, 22). </Text>
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<Text>Several methods have been applied to evaluate the DNA damages (23, 24). Comet assay, known as Single Cell Gel method (SCG), and introduced as a micro electrophoresis method for direct observation of DNA damage. The mechanism by which comet assay detects DNA damage has been explained previously (25). The cells trapped in the agarose gel and lysed under the alkaline pH to release DNA from the cell. Under the effect of the electrical flow in electrophoresis, the DNA molecules move toward anode, to form the comets. The comet formation pattern is determined by the size of the DNA fragments and the number of broken ends (26). As the percent of damage increases, the free DNA fragments make longer tails. To perform this test, a suspension of the separated cells should be prepared. DNA damage should be assessed in the cells without giving them the opportunity of being exposed to any other genotoxic agents (27). Microscopic observation of DNA migration is possible using ethidium bromide staining and a flourescent microscope (28). </Text>
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<Text>According to the wide application of DTIC in cancer treatment protocols, and its serious side effects especially secondary cancers, finding new strategies to prevent these side effects is necessary. With regard to the preventative effects of amifostine on normal cells, this study was performed to evaluate the genoprotective and dose dependent effects of this drug on genotoxicity of DTIC on the metabolically competent human hepatoma cell line (HepG2 cells). </Text>
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<Text>2. Materials and methods </Text>
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<Text>2.1. Materials </Text>
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<Text>Dacarbazine and Amifostine were respectively purchased from Medac Co. (Germany) and Medlmmune Pharma BV. (Poland). Tris, Triton X-100, H2O2, NaCl, EDTA, NaOH and NaH2PO4 were purchased from Merck Co. (Germany), low melting point agarose (LMA), Na2HPO4, KCl and ethidium bromide were purchased from Sigma Co. (USA), normal melting point agarose (NMA) was purchased from Cinnagen Co. (Iran), RPMI-1640, FBS and antibiotic were purchased from PAA Co. (Australia). HepG2 cells were purchased from Pasture Institute (Iran). </Text>
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<Text>2.2. Cell culture </Text>
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<Text>2.3. Alkaline comet assay </Text>
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<Text>2.3. Statistical analysis </Text>
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<Text>Tail moment (percentage of DNA in tail × Tail length), Tail length (the length of the comet tail) and percent of DNA in tail (percentage of colored spots in tail) are the most frequently used factors in evaluation in the comet assay method. We used these factors for statistical analysis in this investigation (33, 34). </Text>
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<Text>One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare the results of comet assay, followed by Tukey's multiple comparison post hoc tests. The P-values of 0.05 and less were considered as statistically significant. </Text>
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<Text>3. Results </Text>
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<Text>3.1. The comet assay results for different concentrations of DTIC </Text>
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<Text>According to previous researches, the genotoxic effect of dacarbazine was tested (6, 35, 36). To determine the appropriate genotoxic concentration of dacarbazine, HepG2 cells were incubated with concentrations of 5, 10 and 20 µg/ml of the medicine for 2 hours before the comet assay stages (Fig. 1). The one-way analysis (ANOVA) for the results of tail length showed it has been increased significantly (P < 0.0001). According to the results of Tukey's multiple comparison post hoc test, all concentrations of dacarbazine have increased the tail length significantly (P < 0.001) comparing with the negative control group (Fig. 1A). The one-way analysis (ANOVA) for the results of percentage of DNA in Tail indicates it has been significantly increased (P < 0.0001). According to the results of the Tukey's multiple comparison post hoc test, in all concentrations of Dacarbazine the percentage of DNA in Tail have been increased significantly (P < 0.001) compared with the control group (Fig. 1B). One-way analysis result of the Tail moment for all groups showed this factor has increased significantly (P < 0.0001), more over the results of Tukey's multiple comparison post hoc test for all groups showed significant increase (P < 0.001) in this parameter compared with the control group (Fig. 1C). </Text>
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<Text> With regard to the results of this stage the lowest concentration of DTIC (5 µg/ml) has significantly increased all studied factors in compare with the negative control group, so this concentration was selected for next stage of this study. </Text>
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<Text>3.2. The comet assay results for different concentrations of amifostine combined with DTIC (5µg/ml) </Text>
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<Text>In order to determine protective effects of amifostine on genotoxicity induced by DTIC, HepG2 cells were incubated with different concentrations of amifostine (2, 3 and 5 mg/ml) for 1 hour followed by 2-hour incubation period for 5µg/ml of DTIC (Fig.2). The result of the one-way analysis (ANOVA) of the tail length was increased significantly (P < 0.0001). According to the results of Tukey's multiple comparison post hoc test, all three concentrations of amifostine in combination with DTIC (5µg/ml) were able to inhibit the genotoxic effects of DTIC and decreased the tail length significantly (P<0.001 ) compared with the DTIC group (Fig. 2A). </Text>
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<Text>The One-way analysis of the percentage of DNA in tail and the tail moment showed significant results (P < 0.0001). The results of Tukey's multiple comparison post hoc test showed at the concentrations of 3 and 5 mg/ml, these parameters have significantly decreased (P < 0.001), while at the concentration of 2 mg/ml of amifostine the percentage of DNA has decreased less than other concentrations (P < 0.05) compared with the DTIC group. (Fig. 2B and 2C) </Text>
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<Text>3.3. The comet assay results for different concentrations of amifostine </Text>
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<Text> Different concentrations of amifostine (2, 3 and 5 mg/ml) were tested by comet assay method after a one-hour period incubation. None of concentrations had genotoxic effect on HepG2 cells. </Text>
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<Text>4. Discussion </Text>
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<Text>The results of this study indicate that concentrations of 5, 10 and 20 µg/ml of DTIC are genotoxic for HepG2 cells during a two-hour period of incubation. The concentration of 5 µg/ml of DTIC was selected as the minimum genotoxic concentration for HepG2 cells at described condition. At the second part of this study, cells were incubated by three concentrations of amifostine (2, 3 and 5 mg/ml) for one hour followed by incubation of DTIC (5 µg/ml) for two hours. All these three concentration of amifostine were able to protect the genotoxic effects of DTIC on HepG2 cells as mentioned above. According to previous researches, alkylating agents such as DTIC are used in anticancer therapy (37-39). The most important side effect of these drugs is apparition of secondary neoplasia or cancers in additional sites (12-15). Alkylating agents can substitute alkyl groups on DNA leads to damage DNA and cause to break labile bonds of DNA, micronucleus formation and finally leading to chromosomal breaks and genome instability. These damages cause effects such as inhibition of the biosynthesis pathways, cell cycle arrest, teratogenicity and apoptosis (35, 40). Dacarbazine may inhibit DNA and RNA synthesis by acting as a purine analogue. This drug is bio-activated in liver by demethylation to MTIC and then to diazomethane, which attacks to nucleophilic groups on DNA (8, 35, 40, 41). Amifostine is FDA approved to reduce side effects of cisplatin in patients with advanced ovarian cancer (42). Nowadays, amifostine known as a selective cytoprotective agent of normal tissues against the toxicity of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (17). WR-2721 is a prodrug dephosphorylated by alkaline phosphatase (AP) in tissues in order to activate free thiol metabolites. The selective protection of non-malignant tissues is believed to be due to higher AP activity in normal tissues (40, 41, 43, 44). Previous researches evaluated the genotoxic effects of doxorubicin after 3, 6 and 9 hours exposure of 10 µg/ml doxorubicin. The results of this study showed time dependent genotoxicity of doxorubicin (45). Buschini et al. determined cytoprotective effect of amifostine (0, 50 and 100 µg/ml) on bleomycin genotoxicity by comet assay. In this study, amifostine could reduce bleomycin genotoxic effects (46). Blasiak and his co-workers evaluated cytoprotective effects of vitamin C and E and amifostine on idarubicin genotoxicity on lymphocyte cells. Vitamin C and amifostine (14 mM) reduced DNA damage induced by idarubicin while vitamin E increased DNA damage of idarubicin (47). The result of our investigation showed that in a two-hour period incubation of HepG2 cells with different concentration of DTIC, the concentration of 5 µg/ml could act as genotoxic factor which could be determined by comet assay method. One-hour incubation of cells with different concentrations of amifostine before DTIC (5 µg/ml) incubation indicated that studied concentration of amifostine are able to prevent genotoxic effects of DTIC on HepG2 cells in described condition. </Text>
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<Text>5. Conclusion </Text>
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<Text>It can be concluded from the discussion that amifostine could prevent genotoxic effect of DTIC on HepG2 cells so it could be suggested to insert in chemotherapy protocols containing DTIC in order to prevent formation of secondary cancers. </Text>
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<Text>6. Acknowledgements </Text>
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<Text>This paper was derived from a pharmacy doctorate thesis (No. 391441) in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. We would like to acknowledge the research department of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, I.R.Iran, for their co-operation and financial supports. </Text>
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<Text>7. References </Text>
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