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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 169-174

BAX/BCL-2 mRNA and protein expression in human breast MCF-7 cells exposed to drug vehicles-methanol and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) for 24 hrs


1 School of Anatomical Sciences, Wits Medical School, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; Department of Medical Sciences, Public Health and Health Promotion, School of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Sovenga, South Africa; Department of Anatomy, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria, South Africa
2 Department of Medical Sciences, Public Health and Health Promotion, School of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Sovenga, South Africa
3 School of Anatomical Sciences, Wits Medical School, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Gbenga Anthony Adefolaju
School of Anatomical Sciences, Wits Medical School, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg - 2193
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.160349

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Background: Methanol and DMSO are commonly used as carrier solvents for lipophilic chemicals in in-vitro experiments. However, very little information is available regarding the effects of these solvents on the expression of pro and anti-apoptotic genes and proteins. Materials and Methods: In this study, we examined the cytotoxic effects of methanol and dimethylsulfoxide at 0.5% (final concentrations recommended for in-vitro toxicity assays) on human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. We also investigated the effects of these solvents on the mRNA and immunocytochemical expression of apoptotic proteins BAX and BCL-2. Results: The results of neutral red cell viability assay showed that methanol and DMSO concentrations of 0.5% exhibited no cytotoxic effects on MCF-7 cells following a 24 hour exposure. Gene expression and Immunofluorescence results showed that methanol but not DMSO reduced the expression of the BAX pro-apoptotic protein, while both solvents did not alter the expression of the BCL-2 oncoprotein. Conclusion: Our results suggest that while methanol concentrations at 0.5% may be appropriate for in vitro toxicity studies in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells, it could alter the results of gene and protein expression experiments.


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