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This article is part of the supplement: Abstracts of the 16th International Charles Heidelberger Symposium on Cancer Research

Open Access Poster presentation

Cytotoxic effect induced by combination of polyamines metabolites and endocannabinoid, anandamide, on human cancer cells: a new anticancer strategy

Ana Batista-de-Carvalho12*, Giampiero Tempera2, Nikenza Viceconte2, Stefania Saccoccio2, Eris Bidollari2, Mariana Nalli3, Enrico Morera3, Giorgio Ortar3 and Enzo Agostinelli2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Life Sciences and Molecular Physical-Chemistry R&D Unit, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

2 Department of Biochemical Sciences – SAPIENZA University of Rome and CNR, Biology and Molecular Pathology Institutes, Rome, Italy

3 Department of Chemistry and Drug Technologies – SAPIENZA University of Rome and CNR, Rome, Italy

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BMC Proceedings 2010, 4(Suppl 2):P31  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-4-S2-P31

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:24 September 2010

© 2010 Batista-de-Carvalho et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Poster presentation

Polyamines are necessary for cell proliferation and are detected at higher concentrations in most tumor tissues. Bovine serum amine oxidase (BSAO) can generate in situ cytotoxic products such as H2O2 and aldehydes from oxidation of polyamines, as a new approach in cancer therapy [1]. The present results show that multidrug-resistant human colon adenocarcinoma cells (LoVo) are significantly more sensitive than corresponding wild-type cells to the cytotoxic products. Pre-treatment of the cells with anandamide (AEA) (Figure 1), an endocannabinoid which effect can be either central, in the brain, mediated by CB1 receptors, or peripheral in other organs and tissues where CB2 receptors are expressed, sensitized both cell lines to the subsequent exposure to spermine metabolites amplifying the ability of these products to induce cell death [2].

The sensitizing effect was also greater on multidrug-resistant cells than wild-type ones, an aspect of particular importance since conventional cancer therapy suffers from the development of drug resistance. Cell viability was determined using MTT assay [3]. Concentrations 0-100 µM of AEA were tested, for incubation times up to 24 h; and concentrations 0-8 µM of spermine in presence of BSAO were used, for incubation times up to 1 h.


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    Amino Acids 2010, 38:353-368. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

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    Gut 2005, 54:1741-1750. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL

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    Methods Mol Biol 1995, 43:137-49. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL