Silver(I) Complexes of the Pharmaceutical Agents Metronidazole and 4-Hydroxymethylpyridine: Comparison of Cytotoxic Profile for Potential Clinical Application.


Department of Bioinorganic Chemistry, Chair of Medicinal Chemistry, Medical University of Lodz, Muszyńskiego 1, 90-151 Łódź, Poland. [Email]


In previous papers, we have reported on the high antifungal and significant antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria of the water-soluble silver(I) complexes of metronidazole and derivatives of pyridine compared to silver nitrate. In the present study, the cytotoxic activity of the silver(I) complexes of metronidazole and 4-hydroxymethylpyridine was compared with that of silver nitrate. Metronidazole and 4-hydroxymethylpyridine were investigated using Balb/c 3T3 and HepG2 cell lines in order to evaluate the potential clinical application of silver(I) complexes. The cells were exposed for 72 h to compounds at eight concentrations. The cytotoxic concentrations (IC50) of the study compounds were assessed within four biochemical endpoints: mitochondrial activity, lysosomal activity, cellular membrane integrity, and total protein content. The investigated silver(I) complexes displayed comparable cytotoxicity to that of silver nitrate used in clinics. Mean cytotoxic concentrations calculated for investigated silver(I) complexes from concentration-response curves ranged from 2.13 to 26.5 µM. HepG2 cells were less sensitive to the tested complexes compared to fibroblasts (Balb/c 3T3). However, the most affected endpoint for HepG2 cells was cellular membrane damage. The cytotoxicity of both silver complexes was comparable for Balb/c 3T3 cells. The cytotoxic potential of the new silver(I) compounds compared to that of silver nitrate used in medicine indicates that they are safe and could be used in clinical practice. The presented results are yet more stimulating to further studies that evaluate the therapeutic use of silver complexes.


Balb/c 3T3 cell line,HepG2 cell line,cytotoxicity,silver(I) complexes,synthesis,

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