Ciprofloxacin mediated cell growth inhibition, S/G2-M cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis in a human transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder cell line

Olivia Aranha, David P. Wood, Fazlul H. Sarkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


The second most prevalent urological malignancy in middle aged and elderly men is bladder cancer, with 90% of the cases being transitional cell carcinomas. The success of current systemic and intravesical therapeutic agents, such as cisplatin, thiotepa, Adriamycin, mitomycin C, and bacillus Calmette-Guerin, is limited with recurrence rates reduced to 17-44%. In addition, most of these agents require instrumentation of the urinary tract and are delivered at a significant cost and potential morbidity to the patient. Fluroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, which can be administered p.o., may have a profound effect in bladder cancer management. This is primarily based on limited in vitro studies on tumor cells derived from transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder that revealed a dose- and time-dependent inhibition of cell growth by ciprofloxacin at concentrations that are easily attainable in the urine of patients. However, the mechanism(s) by which ciprofloxacin elicits its biological effects on bladder cancer cells is not well documented. Our experimental data confirm previous studies showing the in vitro cell growth inhibition of the transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder cell line HTB9 and further showed the induction of cell cycle arrest at the S/G2-M checkpoints. In addition, we found down- regulation of cyclin B, cyclin E, and dephosphorylation of cdk2 in ciprofloxacin-treated bladder tumor cells. There was also an up-regulation of Bax, which altered the Bax:Bcl-2 ratio, which may be responsible for mitochondrial depolarization reported to be involved prior to the induction of apoptosis. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21(WAF1) level was found to be decreased within 12 h of ciprofloxacin treatment and disappeared completely when HTB9 cells were treated with 200 μg/ml ciprofloxacin for 24 h. The down-regulation of p21(WAF1) closely correlated with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage and CPP32 activation. Recent studies revealed that p21(WAF1) protects cells from apoptosis by arresting them in G1 and further binds to pro-caspase-3, preventing its activation and thus, inhibiting the apoptotic cascade. Hence, the down-regulation of p21(WAF1), together with the alterations in Bax and cdk2 as observed in our studies, may define a novel mechanism by which ciprofloxacin inhibits tumor cell growth and induces apoptotic cell death. The results of our current studies provide strong experimental evidence for the use of ciprofloxacin as a potential preventive and/or therapeutic agent for the management of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-900
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2000


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