In Vitro Cytotoxicity Induced by the Bufadienolides 1α,2α-Epoxyscillirosidine and Lanceotoxin B on Rat Myocardial and Mouse Neuroblastoma Cell Lines.


Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa. [Email]


Consumption of bufadienolide-containing plants are responsible for many livestock mortalities annually. Bufadienolides are divided into two groups; non-cumulative bufadienolides and cumulative bufadienolides. Cumulative bufadienolides are referred to as neurotoxic, as the chronic intoxication with this type of bufadienolide results in a paretic/paralytic syndrome known as 'krimpsiekte'. The in vitro cytotoxicity of a non-cumulative bufadienolide, 1α,2α-epoxyscillirosidine, and a cumulative bufadienolide, lanceotoxin B, were compared using the MTT ((3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide reduction) assay after exposing rat myocardial (H9c2) and mouse neuroblastoma (Neuro-2a) cell lines. The effect of these two bufadienolides on cell ultrastructure was also investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). H9c2 cells exhibited greater cytotoxicity when exposed to 1α,2α-epoxyscillirosidine, compared to lanceotoxin B. In contrast, Neuro-2a cells were more susceptible to lanceotoxin B. The EC50 (half maximal effective concentration) of lanceotoxin B exposure of Neuro-2a cells for 24⁻72 h ranged from 4.4⁻5.5 µM compared to EC50s of 35.7⁻37.6 µM for 1α,2α-epoxyscillirosidine exposure of Neuro-2a cells over the same period. 1α,2α-Epoxyscillirosidine induced extensive vacuolization in both cell types, with swollen RER (rough endoplasmic reticulum) and perinuclear spaces. Lanceotoxin B caused swelling of the mitochondria and sequestration of cytoplasmic material within autophagic vesicles. These results corroborate the notion that cumulative bufadienolides are neurotoxic.


1α,2α-epoxyscillirosidine,cumulative bufadienolide,cytotoxicity,lanceotoxin B,neurotoxic,ultrastructure,