Drug resistance and its counteraction by cyclosporin A in function of metastatic potential in the Lewis lung carcinoma system.

M. Michowitz*, G. Dayan-Avidan, B. Bar-Shira-Maymon, N. Donin, J. Leibovici

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumor progression (TP) is often accompanied by evolution of drug resistant clones. Decreased intracellular accumulation of cytotoxic agents is probably the major mechanism of drug resistance. In the present study, we tried to examine the possibility to overcome the resistance to adriamycin (ADR) treatment, by cyclosporin A (CS) in two models of TP in the Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL) system. The first model consisted in the comparison of primary tumor cells (3LL-PT) to metastatic cells (3LL-MT) and the second consisted in comparison of lung metastases of the highly malignant variant D122 to those of the parental 3LL tumor. Cyclosporin had a weak augmenting effect on ADR uptake, in the two more malignant cell variants and no influence on the 3LL-PT cells, according to FACS analysis. Cytofluorometry also showed practically no effect of CS on cell size, unlike the effect of other chemosensitizers, such as membrane active agents. In order to find out whether CS counteracts resistance to ADR despite the fact that it does not increase cytotoxic agent uptake, we examined its effect on in vitro proliferative capacity of the 3LL-PT cells. CS in combination with ADR had a more pronounced effect, as compared to single treatments on cell proliferation. The low effect of CS on ADR uptake according to FACS analysis, and by contrast, its efficiency to overcome resistance to ADR according to the in vitro growth results, suggest that the mechanism of the CS action as a chemosensitizer is not related to the p-glycoprotein (P-G-P), known to be overexpressed in the typical multidrug-resistance (MDR) phenotype. A better understanding of the complexity of MDR mechanisms may contribute to the design of new modalities to overcome this phenomenon, which still limits effectiveness of cancer cure, to the early stages of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-560
Number of pages10
JournalCellular and Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes


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