Comparative study of the effects of hyperthermia and BCNU on BCNU-sensitive and BCNU-resistant 9L rat brain tumor cells
Stem Cell Transplantation
1,3-Bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU)-sensitive and BCNU-resistant 9L rat brain tumor cells were treated with BCNU at graded temperatures between 37 and 44 degrees C. The cytotoxic effects of hyperthermia alone on both cell lines were the same. Treating both cell lines with BCNU at temperatures above 37 degrees C caused a progressive increase in cell kill. All survival curves for drug-sensitive cells had shoulders followed by a region of exponential cell kill; dose enhancement ratios calculated at the 10% survival level ranged from 1.7 to 3.0. Survival curves for drug-resistant cells were exponential without a shoulder; dose enhancement ratios ranged from 3.3 to 8.4. For each cell line, a similar amount of the increased cell kill could be explained on the basis of the increases concentration of reactive species produced by hydrolysis of BCNU at elevated temperatures. The amount of cell kill that cannot be explained on this basis, however, suggests that factors other than an increase in the concentration of reactive species at higher temperatures are involved in the enhanced cell killing. Possible mechanisms include a heat-induced change in the structure of DNA chromatin and the effect of isocyanate deactivation of repair enzymes, both of which could lead to an increase in the number of crosslinks formed and therefore to an increase in cytotoxicity.