[Calcium antagonists as modulators of multi-drug resistant tumor cells].


Multidrug-resistance (MDR) is a cellular mechanism, which in certain tumors reduces the chemosensitivity of cells to a characteristic group of structural different cytostatic drugs, as anthracyclines, Vinca alkaloids and others, and correlates with a unfavourable clinical prognosis. In MDR-cells the intracellular concentration of cytostatic drugs is reduced due to the action of the mdr-1-gene-encoded P-glycoprotein (P-gp/gp 170), which functions as drug efflux pump with broad substrate specificity. Many calcium channel blockers of all subclasses (phenylalkylamine, dihydropyridine and benzothiazepine type) and other calcium antagonists inhibit the P-gp-mediated drug efflux and represent modulators of MDR (resistance modifiers, chemosensitizers). Since the sensitized tumor cells express no voltage-gated calcium channels, the induction of changes in intracellular free calcium showed no effect on MDR and the MDR-activity of antagonists is not correlated with their cardiovascular effects, the chemosensitization by these drugs is independent from their action on calcium channels and Ca(++)-regulation. Photoaffinity labelling with reactive derivatives proved the direct competitive interaction of calcium antagonists with the binding site of P-gp for cytostatic drugs as mechanism of action. The MDR-modulation of the doxorubicin or Vinca alkaloid resistance of tumor cells in vitro by verapamil and other calcium channel blockers was confirmed in vivo as increased survival length in mice with tumor transplants in combination with cytostatic therapy. The clinical application of calcium antagonists is limited by their severe cardiovascular side effects associated with the high concentrations required for successful reversal of MDR.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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@article{Hamilton1993CalciumAA, title={[Calcium antagonists as modulators of multi-drug resistant tumor cells].}, author={Gerhard Hamilton and G. Theyer and Gerald Baumgartner}, journal={Wiener medizinische Wochenschrift}, year={1993}, volume={143 19-20}, pages={526-32} }