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eISSN: 1643-3750

Effects of Deferoxamine on Leukemia In Vitro and Its Related Mechanism

Yujing Yang, Yanli Xu, Ailing Su, Dan Yang, Xuezhong Zhang

Department of Hematology, Nanjing First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:6735-6741

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.910325

Available online:

Published: 2018-09-24

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate the effect of deferoxamine (DFO) on leukemia in vitro, and to explore the underlying molecular mechanism.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: K562 leukemia cells were treated with various concentrations of DFO (10, 50, and 100 µmol/l) with or without 10 µmol/l ferric chloride for 12 h. Then, total cellular iron was detected. CCK-8 kit and flow cytometry were used for cell viability and apoptosis detection. In addition, expression of apoptosis-related genes was determined by Western blotting and qRT-PCR, respectively.
RESULTS: The results suggested that DFO significantly inhibited K562 cell viability and induced cell apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. We also found that the protein and mRNA levels of Bax, p53, and Fas dose-dependently increased in DFO-treated K562 cells, while the level of Bcl-2 markedly decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, the findings showed that ferric chloride eliminated these effects on K562 cells caused by DFO treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that DFO plays a protective role in leukemia via inhibiting leukemia cell viability and inducing cell apoptosis by the regulation of apoptosis-related genes expression.

Keywords: Apoptosis, Cell Proliferation, Iron Chelating Agents, Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute