The synergistic cytotoxic effect of cisplatin and honey bee venom on human ovarian cancer cell line A2780cp

Research Report


J Venom Res (2012), Vol 3, 22-27


Published online: 23 October 2012

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Masoumehzaman Alizadehnohi, Mohammad Nabiuni, Zahra Nazari, Zahra Safaeinejad and Saeed Irian*

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology Research Lab, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

*Correspondence to: Saeed Irian, Email:, Tel: + 98 218 8329220 , Fax: + 98 263 4513009

Received: 25 May 2012, Revised: 15 August 2012, Accepted: 26 August 2012

© Copyright The Authors


Ovarian cancer seems to be one of the most important causes of death among women. Cisplatin is one of the oldest chemotherapeutical compounds used for treating ovarian cancer. Previous studies have shown the inhibitory effects of bee venom on certain types of cancer. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the cytotoxic effect of bee venom alone and its synergistic cytological effects in combination with cisplatin on ovarian cancerous cisplatin resistant A2780cp cells. To investigate the cytotoxic effect of bee venom on A2780cp cells and its synergetic effect with cisplatin, MTT assay, morphological examination, DNA fragmentation assay, flowcytometric and immunocytochemical analysis were performed. MTT assay revealed that 8µg/ml bee venom, 25mg/ml cisplatin and 4µg/ml bee venom/10mg/ml cisplatin cause an approximately 50% A2780cp cell death after 24hr. Morphological and biochemical analysis indicated an apoptotic type of cell death induced by bee venom and cisplatin, separately and in combination. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated a reduction in the levels of the Bcl2 protein. Overall, our findings suggest that bee venom may exert an anti-tumor effect on human ovarian cancer and that it can be used for enhancing the cytotoxic effect of the antitumor agent cisplatin.

KEYWORDS: A2780cp, cisplatin, bee venom, apoptosis