Anti-proliferative activity of haloperidol in B16 mouse and human SK-MEL-28 melanoma cell lines

Jardena Nordenberg*, Israela Perlmutter, Gad Lavie, Einat Beery, Orit Uziel, Chaya Morgenstern, Eyal Fenig, Abraham Weizman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sigma receptors are present in cancer cell lines. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the anti-tumor activity of a series of sigma 1, sigma 2 and sigma 1/2 ligands in B16 melanoma cell lines. Proliferation, apoptosis, intracellular ATP content, cell cycle and molecular regulators were analyzed. Cell growth was determined using the sulforhodamine B (SRB) colorimetric cytotoxicity assay. Apoptosis was assessed by flow cytometry and DNA fragmentation, using ELISA Cell Death assay. ATP content was measured spectrofluorometrically and cell cycle analysis was performed by flow cytometry. The cytpolasmic and nuclear expression of cell cycle regulatory molecules, cyclin D and CDK2 (cyclin dependent kinase 2) were determined by Western blot analysis and quantified by densitometry. The sigma ligands in single digit micromolar concentrations inhibited B16 and multidrug-resistant B16 COL/R cell growth, leading to cell death at higher concentrations. The potency order was: haloperidol, reduced-haloperidol, ifenprodil tartrate, opipramol and carbetapentane citrate. B16 COL/R cells were to some extent, less sensitive to sigma ligands. Further studies have shown that the growth inhibitory effect of sigma ligands could be attributed to Gl arrest of the cell cycle, mediated by a marked decrease in cytoplasmic and nuclear cyclin D and CDK2 protein expression, though haloperidol induced loss of cell viability due to apoptosis. Sigma ligands induced an early decrease in ATP content. These data stimulated us to examine the combined anti-proliferative activity of haloperidol and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate (STI 571), on SK-MEL-28 human melanoma cells. Preliminary experiments demonstrated a marked synergistic interaction between the two agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-1103
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Cell growth inhibition
  • Haloperidol
  • Sigma ligands


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