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Cellular glutathione level does not predict ovarian cancer cells’ resistance after initial or repeated exposure to cisplatin
Nastaran Nikounezhad, Maryam Nakhjavani and Farshad H. Shirazi

Cisplatin resistance development is a major obstacle in ovarian cancer treatment. One of the most important mechanisms underlying cisplatin resistance is drug detoxification by glutathione. In the present study, the importance of initial or repeated exposure to cisplatin in glutathione dependent resistance was investigated. To this purpose, some cisplatin sensitive and resistant variants of human ovarian cancer cell lines providing an appropriate range of cisplatin sensitivity were selected. Clonogenic survival assay was performed to evaluate cisplatin resistance and intracellular contents of reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) glutathione were analyzed using an HPLC method. Our results indicated that the intracellular GSH and GSSG concentrations were nearly equal in A2780 and A2780CP cells, while the A2780CP cells showed 14 times more resistance than the A2780 cells after initial exposure to cisplatin. A2780-R1 and A2780-R3 cells which have been repeatedly exposed to cisplatin also showed no significant difference in glutathione content, even though A2780-R3 was about two times more resistant than A2780-R1. Moreover, intracellular GSH/GSSG ratio decreased in the resistant cells, reflecting a shift towards a more oxidizing intracellular environment indicative of oxidative stress. As a conclusion, it seems that although the intracellular glutathione concentration increases after repeated exposure to cisplatin, there is no clear correlation between the intracellular GSH content in ovarian cancer cells and their resistance to cisplatin neither after initial nor after repeated exposure to this drug.

Keywords: Cisplatin, Chemoresistance, Glutathione, Ovarian cancer, GSH, GSSG

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