Comparative Measurement of In Vitro Paraquat and Aflatoxin B1 Cytotoxicity Using Three Different Cytotoxicity Assays in Pheochromocytoma Cells (PC-12)

Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods

Volume 9 - Number

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Among the herbicides and mycotoxins, paraquat (PQ) and aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) are highly cytotoxic. In this study the toxicity of PQ and AFB1 in the cultured cell were determined using MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide], JG-B (Janus green B), and NR (neutral red) assay by multiwell scanning spectophotometry. JG-B was used not only for the vital staining of mitochondria but also for viability assay and was compared to MTT and NR assay. Various concentrations of paraquat (0.1 mM to 100 mM) and AFB1 (0.001 nM to 10 nM) on the PC-12 cells were investigated. The 50% lethal concentration of toxins (LC50) were determined for PQ (7.70 +/- 2.50, 3.67 +/- 1.53, 4.85 +/- 2.44) and AFB1 (0.16 +/- 0.01, 0.13 +/- 0.04, 0.14 +/- 0.02) as determined by these methods (JG-B, NR, and MTT, respectively). A significant correlation was found among the JG-B and MTT using PQ (r(2) = 0.99, p < 0.05) and significant correlation was also found among the three methods (r(2) = 0.95, 0.93, and 0.92, p < 0.05) using AFB1. No significant correlation was found between JG-B and MTT with NR (r(2) = 0.34 and 0.35, p < 0.05, respectively) using PQ. These results suggest that both methods (MTT assay and JG-B assay) are reliable and are comparable for determining the cytotoxicity. It is concluded that the JG-B assay may be preferable to MTT assay methods because of its simplicity, low cost, sensitivity, and objectivity; in addition, this method takes little time to be done.