Nov 1, 1989

Radiation sensitivity of tumour cells stained in vitro or in vivo with the bisbenzimide fluorochrome Hoechst 33342

British Journal of Cancer
S D Young, R P Hill


The DNA-binding bisbenzimide fluorochrome Hoechst 33342 is being used routinely in radiobiological studies to assess cell kinetic parameters and tumour blood flow. However, there are reports in the literature which indicate that exposure to this compound can affect the radiation sensitivity of tumour cell populations. In this investigation, it was found that staining murine tumour cells in vitro with H33342 at concentrations greater than 0.1 microM before irradiation resulted in radioprotection. The protection factor calculated for fibrosarcoma cells stained with 10 microM H33342 was 1.7. Varying the time between radiation treatment and exposure to the fluorochrome demonstrated that the effect rapidly changed to radiosensitization when staining was performed subsequent to irradiation. Cells in transplanted KHT tumours were stained in vivo by intravenous administration of H33342 to determine whether the radiation sensitivity of these populations might also be modified. Flow cytometric analysis of suspensions prepared from tumours stained in this manner revealed that recovered cells exhibited a greater than 100-fold range in fluorescence intensities. These suspensions were irradiated in vitro and the cells were then fractionated ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Tumor Cells, Uncertain Whether Benign or Malignant
Tumor Lysis Syndrome
Blood Flow
Mice, Inbred C3H
Staining and Labeling
Cell Survival

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