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Monday 01 May 2006

Methotrexate induces cell swelling and necrosis in renal tubular cells.

By: Gronroos M, Chen M, Jahnukainen T, Capitanio A, Aizman RI, Celsi G.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2006 May 1;46(5):624-9

BACKGROUND: The present study was carried out to investigate if methotrexate (MTX) has a direct lethal effect in renal tubular cells, and if so, to further clarify the mechanisms of cell death. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Renal tubular cells (LLC-PK(1) cells) were incubated with MTX (0.01 microM, 0.1 microM, and 1 microM), either alone or in combination with 0.1 microM amiloride (Na(+)/H(+) antiporter inhibitor) or 1 microM carbachol (M-cholinergic agonist). Cell viability was then determined by means of trypan blue (TB) exclusion tests and MTT assays. RESULTS: After 4 hr incubation with 0.1 microM MTX the number of viable cells was decreased by 18% in comparison with control cells, and the proportion of dead cells was increased by 38%. Cell death induced by MTX was time-dependent and did not show apoptotic features. On the contrary, cell swelling was discovered. This cell death was prevented by co-incubating the cells with amiloride or carbachol. CONCLUSIONS: MTX induces cell swelling and cell death in renal tubular LLC-PK(1) cells. The tubular cell death induced by MTX is time-dependent. Cell death can be prevented by co-incubating with amiloride, thus indicating that the Na(+)/H(+) antiporter and possibly other volume regulatory factors in renal tubular cells are involved in MTX-induced renal failure.

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