Cell cycle kinetics responses of human stomach cancer cells to reduction in polyamine levels by treatment with αDifluoromethylornithine in vitro

S. C. Barranco, P. J. Ford, C. M. Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Treatment of human gastric cancer clones in vitro with low doses of DFMO (5 mM) produced elongation of the cell population doubling times and lowering of the saturation densities. By contrast, DFMO treatment of normal human skin fibroblasts altered only the saturation density. The lack of an effect of 5 mM DFMO on the doubling time of normal fibroblasts may be directly related to baseline intracellular putrescine levels, which were about 2.5 times higher than in the cancer cells. The same dose of DFMO caused a rapid decrease in intracellular polyamine levels in the tumor clones. The effects on the doubling time and saturation density were almost totally abolished by the addition of 50 μM putrescine to the growth medium during the first 24 h of treatment with DFMO. Exposure to 5 mM DFMO for 24 h caused the human gastric cancer cells to become blocked in G1 phase only, and this led to a reduction in the fraction of cells in S phase. The G1 block was reversible and this cohort of cells eventually passed through S phase and then through G2 and M. A higher 100 mM dose of DFMO and longer exposure times for both doses produced cell cycle changes and death of more than 90% of the cell population. These data suggest that cell kinetics changes observed under these experimental conditions may reflect polyamine-related alterations in the biochemical events of cell cycle progression kinetics; but may also be the result of DFMO-induced loss of cell viability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986



  • DFMO
  • cell kinetics
  • human stomach cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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