Chromosome instability in T-cells cultured in the presence of pancuronium or fentanyl
Genomic instability is recognized as a cause of cellular apoptosis and certain drugs that exhibit a proapoptotic effect are also able to induce chromosome damage. Since we found in recent experiments that drugs such as pancuronium and fentanyl exerted an apoptogenic effect on T cells, we studied the capacity of those agents to promote chromosome instability, i.e. chromosome aberrations (CA) and telomeric associations (tas) in peripheral blood lymphocytes. Methods:
Lymphocytes from healthy donors were cultured with pancuronium or fentanyl, using two different concentrations for each drug: 20 and 200 ng/ml for pancuronium and 10 and 30 ng/ml for fentanyl, respectively. Cells were exposed to each concentration of these drugs either for 24 or 48 h. The higher concentration chosen was the same at which we detected the proapoptotic effect in our previous works. Cytogenetic analysis was performed by means of a standard technique and chromosome aberrations or telomeric associations were blindly evaluated by two independent observers. Results:
The chromosome aberrations we observed in treated cells were not significantly different from control lymphocytes. However, an unusual rate of telomeric associations (P < 0.001) was detected in cells exposed to both pancuronium and fentanyl, at each concentration tested and at each exposure time of the study. Conclusions:
Fentanyl and pancuronium do not have a direct clastogenic effect on T cultures, but at the same concentrations at which we demonstrated their apoptogenic power, these drugs are able to increase genomic instability through inducing an elevated rate of telomeric associations. Such a capacity could exploit in peripheral T cells the same mitochondrion-mediated signal pathway of apoptosis death.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Anesthesia and Intensive Care and 2: Cellular Biotechnology and Hematology, ‘La Sapienza’ University, and 3: Department of Hematology, Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
Publication date: 01 September 2004