Original Articles

Influence of homoharringtonine on the ultrastructure of murine leukemia P388 cells

Authors: Jin-xu Zhou, Pei-qin Zhou, Zhi-qiang Dai, Bin Xu


P388 is a lymphocytic leukemia,containing a number of atpical hemocytoblasts. The nuclei of P388 cell were pleomorphic and 1-4 nucleoli located nearby perinuclear membrane. Many mitochondria with slight swelling and free ribosomes were seen. In cytoplasm polyribosomes and rough endoplasmic reticulum(RER) scattered. Other organelles such as annulate lamellae, myelin figures and virus particles of “A” type were frequently seen. The changes of P388 cells 1,5 and 24 h after ip homoharringtonine (HH) 1 or 1.5 mg/kg were as follow. 1. Significant decrease of free ribosomes, disaggregation of polyribosomes and detachment of ribosomes from RER. 2. Increase of vacuoles, severe swelling of mitochondria with fracture and obscurity and even disappearance of inner cristae. 3. Disappearance of annulate lamellae, decrease of virus particles and increase of myelin figures. 4. Appearance of aggregated patches of chromatin and a few apoptic lesions of nuclei. The ultrastructural changes of P388 cells in vitro were recovered 5 h after washing the drug out of the culture medium. It may be concluded that HH exerts a reversible effect on cell organelles related to protein synthesis.

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