A New Cell Counting Method to Evaluate Anti-tumor Compound Activity

  • Wang, Xue-Jian (School of Pharmacy and Biology Science, Weifang Medical University) ;
  • Zhang, Xiu-Rong (School of Pharmacy and Biology Science, Weifang Medical University) ;
  • Zhang, Lei (School of Medicine, Qingdao University) ;
  • Li, Qing-Hua (School of Public Health, Weifang Medical University) ;
  • Wang, Lin (School of Pharmacy and Biology Science, Weifang Medical University) ;
  • Shi, Li-Hong (School of Pharmacy and Biology Science, Weifang Medical University) ;
  • Fang, Chun-Yan (School of Pharmacy and Biology Science, Weifang Medical University)
  • Published : 2014.04.30


Determining cell quantity is a common problem in cytology research and anti-tumor drug development. A simple and low-cost method was developed to determine monolayer and adherent-growth cell quantities. The cell nucleus is located in the cytoplasm, and is independent. Thus, the nucleus cannot make contact even if the cell density is heavy. This phenomenon is the foundation of accurate cell-nucleus recognition. The cell nucleus is easily recognizable in images after fluorescent staining because it is independent. A one-to-one relationship exists between the nucleus and the cell; therefore, this method can be used to determine the quantity of proliferating cells. Results indicated that the activity of the histone deacetylase inhibitor Z1 was effective after this method was used. The nude-mouse xenograft model also revealed the potent anti-tumor activity of Z1. This research presents a new anti-tumor-drug evaluation method.


  1. Cheng DD, Yang QC, Zhang ZC, Yang CX, Liu YW (2012). Antitumor activity of histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A in osteosarcoma cells. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 13, 1395-99.
  2. Chueh AC, Togel L, Mariadason J, Tse JW (2014). Mechanisms of HDAC inhibitor-regulated gene expression in cancer cells. Antioxid Redox Signal, [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Dhar SS, Alam H, Li N, et al (2014). Transcriptional Repression of Histone Deacetylase 3 by the Histone Demethylase KDM2A Is Coupled to Tumorigenicity of Lung Cancer Cells. J Biol Chem, 289, 7483-96.
  4. Feng W, Zhang B, Cai D, Zou X (2014). Therapeutic potential of histone deacetylase inhibitors in pancreatic cancer. Cancer Lett, 347, 183-90.
  5. Okudela K, Mitsui H, Suzuki T, et al (2013). Expression of HDAC9 in lung cancer - potential role in lung carcinogenesis. Int J Clin Exp Pathol, 7, 213-20.
  6. Richon VM, Emiliani S, Verdin E, et al (1998). A class of hybrid polar inducers of transformed cell differentiation inhibits histone deacetylases. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 95, 3003-7.
  7. Sriraksa R, Limpaiboon T (2013). Histone deacetylases and their inhibitors as potential therapeutic drugs for cholangiocarcinoma - cell line findings. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 2503-8.
  8. Tesei A, Ulivi P, Fabbri F, et al (2005). In vitro and in vivo evaluation of NCX 4040 cytotoxic activity in human colon cancer cell lines. J Transl Med, 3, 7.
  9. Thiagalingam S, Cheng KH, Lee HJ, et al (2003). Histone deacetylases: unique players in shaping the epigenetic histone code. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 983, 84-100.
  10. Ueda H, Nakajima H, Hori Y, et al (1994). FR901228, a novel antitumor bicyclic depsipeptide produced by Chromobacterium violaceum No. 968. I. Taxonomy, fermentation, isolation, physico-chemical and biological properties, and antitumor activity. J Antibiot, 47, 301-10.
  11. Wang SH, Li N, Wei Y, Li QR, Yu ZP (2014). beta-catenin deacetylation is essential for WNTinduced proliferation of breast cancer cells. Mol Med Rep, 9, 973-78.
  12. Zhang QC, Jiang SJ, Zhang S, Ma XB (2012). Histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A enhances anti-tumor effects of docetaxel or erlotinib in A549 cell line. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 13, 3471-6.
  13. Zhang W, Ji W, Liu X, Ouyang G, Xiao W (2014). ELL inhibits E2F1 transcriptional activity by enhancing E2F1 deacetylation via recruitment of histone deacetylase 1. Mol Cell Biol, 34, 765-75.
  14. Zhang Y, Feng J, Liu C, et al (2010). Design, synthesis and preliminary activity assay of 1, 2, 3, 4-tetrahydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid derivatives as novel histone deacetylases (HDACs) inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem, 18, 1761-72.