DNA Damage of Glioblastoma Multiform Cells Induced by Beta Radiation of Iodine-131 in The Presence or Absence of Topotecan: A Picogreen and Colonogenic Assay

Document Type : Original Article


1 Radiation Research Center, Faculty of Paramedicine, AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Radiology, Faculty of Allied Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), one of the most common and aggressive malignant brain tumors, is highly resistant to radiotherapy. Numerous approaches have been pursued to find new radiosensitizers. We used a picogreen and colonogenic assay to appraise the DNA damage and cell death in a spheroid culture of GBM cells caused by iodine-131 (I-131) beta radiation in the presence of topotecan (TPT).
Materials and Methods
U87MG cells were cultured as spheroids with approximate diameters of 300 μm. Cells were treated with beta radiation of I-131 (at a dose of 2 Gy) and/ or TPT (1 μg/ml for 2 hours). The numbers of cells that survived were compared with untreated cells using a colonogenic assay. In addition, we evaluated possible DNA damages by the picogreen method. The relation between DNA damage and cell death was assessed in the experimental study of groups.
The findings showed that survival fraction (SF) in the I-131+TPT group (39%) was considerably less than the I-131 group (58.92%; p < 0.05). The number of single strand breaks (SSB) and double strand breaks (DSB), in the DNA of U87MG cells treated with beta radiation of I-131 and TPT (I-131+TPT) significantly increased compared to cells treated with only I-131 or TPT (p < 0.05). The amount of SSB repair was more than DSB repair (p < 0.05). The relationship between cell death and DNA damage was close (r≥0.6) and significant (p < 0.05) in the irradiated and treated groups. Also the maximum rate of DNA repair occurred 24 hours after the treatments. A significant difference was not observed on other days of the restoration.
The findings in the present study indicated that TPT can sensitize U87MG cells to radiation and increase DNA damages. Potentially, TPT can cause an increase in damage from DSB and SSB by its inhibitory effects on topoisomerase enzyme and the cell cycle. The increased complex damages following the use of a genotoxic agent and beta I-131 radiation, causes a significant increase the cell death because of the difficult repair process. By assessing the relationship between DNA damage and cell death, the picogreen method can be useful in predicting colonogenic assay. Consequently, it is suggested that co-treatment with I-131 beta radiation and TPT can improve GBM treatment.