Complex Effects of Sertraline and Citalopram on In Vitro Murine Breast Cancer Proliferation and on In Vivo Progression and Anxiety Level

Michal Taler, Irit Gil-Ad, Iris Brener, Shay Henry Hornfeld, Abraham Weizman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), primarily sertraline, demonstrate anti-proliferative activity in malignant cell-lines and in xenografted mouse models of colorectal tumor. There is, however, a paucity of comparative studies on the anti-tumor effects of SSRIs. We compared the in vitro and in vivo effects of sertraline and citalopram on murine 4T1 breast cancer. Grafted mice were used to determine the rate of tumor growth and survival as well as the impact of stress and antidepressant treatment on tumor progression and mortality and on pro-inflammatory cytokines. Sertraline, in the micromolar range, but not citalopram, induced a significant in vitro concentration-dependent inhibition of murine 4T1 cell proliferation and splenocyte viability. In contrast, sertraline (10 mg/kg/d), enhanced in vivo tumor growth. Contrary to the study’s hypothesis, chronic mild stress did not modify tumor growth in grafted mice. The in vitro effects of sertraline on tumor growth seem to be the opposite of its in vivo effects. The impact of sertraline treatment on humans with breast cancer should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2711
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Antidepressants
  • Breast cancer
  • Oncological pharmacology
  • SSRIs
  • Stress
  • Tumor growth

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