International Journal of Nanomedicine (Sep 2017)

Silver nanoparticles enhance the apoptotic potential of gemcitabine in human ovarian cancer cells: combination therapy for effective cancer treatment

  • Yuan YG,
  • Peng Q,
  • Gurunathan S

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 12
pp. 6487 – 6502


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Yu-Guo Yuan,1 Qiu-Ling Peng,2 Sangiliyandi Gurunathan3 1College of Veterinary Medicine/Animal Science and Technology/Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China; 2College of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Yichun University, Yichun, Jiangxi, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Stem cell and Regenerative Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea Background: Gemcitabine (GEM) is widely used as an anticancer agent in several types of solid tumors. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) possess unique cytotoxic features and can induce apoptosis in a variety of cancer cells. In this study, we investigated whether the combination of GEM and AgNPs can exert synergistic cytotoxic effects in the human ovarian cancer cell line A2780.Methods: We synthesized AgNPs using resveratrol as a reducing and stabilizing agent. The synthesized nanomaterials were characterized using various analytical techniques. The anticancer effects of a combined treatment with GEM and AgNPs were evaluated using a series of cellular assays. The expression of pro- and antiapoptotic genes was measured using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Apoptosis was confirmed by TUNEL assay.Results: In this study, combined treatment with GEM and AgNPs significantly inhibited viability and proliferation in A2780 cells. Moreover, the levels of apoptosis in cells treated with a combination of GEM and AgNPs were significantly higher compared with those in cells treated with GEM or AgNPs alone. Our data suggest that GEM and AgNPs exhibit potent apoptotic activity in human ovarian cancer cells. Combined treatment with GEM and AgNPs showed a significantly higher cytotoxic effect in ovarian cancer cells compared with that induced by either of these agents alone.Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that the interaction between GEM and AgNPs was cytotoxic in ovarian cancer cells. Combined treatment with GEM and AgNPs caused increased cytotoxicity and apoptosis in A2780 cells. This treatment may have therapeutic potential as targeted therapy for the treatment of ovarian cancer. To our knowledge, this study could provide evidence that AgNPs can enhance responsiveness to GEM in ovarian cancer cells and that AgNPs can potentially be used as chemosensitizing agents in ovarian cancer therapy. Keywords: cell viability, proliferation, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, gemcitabine, silver nanoparticles