Low concentrations of doxycycline attenuates FasL-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells
BACKGROUND: Doxycycline (DC) has been shown to possess non-antibiotic properties including Fas/Fas Ligand (FasL)-mediated apoptosis against several tumor types in the concentration range of 10-40 μg/mL. However, the effect of DC in apoptotic signaling at much low concentrations was not studied. METHODS: The present study investigated the attenuation effect of low dose of DC on FasL-induced apoptosis in HeLa cell by the methods of MTT assay, fluorescence microscopy, DNA fragmentation, flow cytometry analysis, and western blotting. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: In the present findings we showed that low concentration of DC (<2.0 μg/mL) exhibited protective effects against FasL-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells. FasL treatment to HeLa cells resulted in a concentration-dependent induction of cell death, and treatment with low concentrations of DC (0.1-2 μg/mL) significantly (p < 0.001) attenuated the FasL-induced cell death as measured by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazo-lium bromide (MTT) assay. Further, the FasL-induced apoptotic features in HeLa cells, such as morphological changes, DNA fragmentation and cell cycle arrest was also inhibited by DC (0.5 μg/mL). Tetracycline and minocycline also showed similar anti-apoptotic effects but were not significant when compared to DC, tested at same concentrations. Further, DC (0.01-16 μg/mL) did not influence the hydrogen peroxide- or cisplatin-induced intrinsic apoptotic pathway in HeLa cells. Protein analysis using Western blotting confirmed that FasL-induced cleavage/activation of cas-pase-8 and caspase-3, were inhibited by DC treatment at low concentration (0.5 μg/mL). Considering the overall data, we report for the first time that DC exhibited anti-apoptotic effects at low concentrations in HeLa cells by inhibition of caspase activation via FasL-induced extrinsic pathway.