Anticancer activity of some commercial antihypertensive drugs by Neutral Red assay

El Sharkawi, F. Z. a, H. A. b El Shemy, and H. c Khaled, "Anticancer activity of some commercial antihypertensive drugs by Neutral Red assay", Life Science Journal, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 609-613, 2013.


Lisinopril, propranolol and nifedipine are three commercial drugs used clinically for the management of hypertension, angina pectoris, and cardiac arrhythmias. It has been reported that these drugs have inhibitory effects on some cancer cells. In the current study the cytotoxicity of these drugs was evaluated against HeLa, HepG2, MCF- 7 and EACC transformed cell lines using Neutral Red and Trypan Blue assay methods. The three drugs showed a cytotoxicity against HeLa, HepG2 and MCF-7 cells with different potentiality. Lisinopril was the most potent cytotoxic drug against HepG2 cells with IC50 = 33.8±88.4 μg/ml at the concentration of 300ug/ml; while Nifedipine was the most active one against HeLa cells with IC50 =130±58.4ug/ml at a concentration of 300ug/ml. Propranolol was the most active against MCF7 cells IC50 of 78.0± 121.4 μg/ml at a concentration of 3000ug/ml. The three used drugs inhibited the growth of EACC cells and propranolol showed highest inhibitory activity; it inhibited 97.7% of cell growth at a concentration of 300 ug/ml and 100% inhibition at a concentration of 3000 ug/ml. Lisinopril and nifedipine showed a lower rate of growth inhibition of 18.28% and 11.40% respectively at a concentration of 3000ug/ml. In conclusion: At these high concentrations, the three tested drugs are lethal in vitro to cancer cells of endometrial, cervical, hepatic, and breast origin. Further animal studies are required to confirm this conclusion.


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