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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-48

HAART induces cell death in a cervical cancer cell line, HCS-2: A Scanning Electron Microscopy study

1 School of Anatomical Sciences, Wits Medical School, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193, , South Africa
2 Newcastle University Medicine , No. 1 Jalan Sarjana, 1 Kota Ilmu, 79200 Nusa Jaya, Johor, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Kutlwano Rekgopetswe Xulu
School of Anatomical Sciences, Wits Medical School, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.1016/j.jmau.2016.06.001

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Apoptosis is a tightly programmed cell suicide which occurs in multiple physiologic and pathological conditions where it plays an important role in tissue development and homeostasis by eliminating unwanted and damaged cells. Appropriate apoptosis signalling is crucial in maintaining the fine balance between cell death and cell survival in cancer. In response to death stimuli the morphology of the cell undergoes unique changes. The aim of this study was to examine and compare the changes in the cell surface morphology using scanning electron microscopy in HCS-2 cells, following 24 hour treatment with components of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) at their clinical plasma concentrations. The cells were fixed in 2.5% Glutaraldehyde and post-fixed in 1% osmium tetroxide. The cells were then dehydrated through a graded series of alcohol and treated with hexamethyl-disilazane, then coated with a double layer of carbon. The cells were viewed under a Zeiss Ultra FEG Scanning Electron Microscope and a one way ANOVA and Tukey Kramer Post Hoc test was conducted based on the scoring of surface morphology of the cells using JMP 11 statistical software. The drugs used in this study induced morphological features which are known to be characteristic of apoptotic cell death. The drug combinations (ATP and LPV/r) were seemingly more effective than individual treatments in inducing cell death because morphological features observed were more advanced than those observed in individual treatments. However, LPV/r was more potent than ATP. In conclusion, HAART showed anticancer properties by inducing cell death through apoptosis.

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