In vitro nephrotoxicity and anticancer potency of newly synthesized cadmium complexes

Selda Abyar, Ali Akbar Khandar, Roya Salehi, Seyed Abolfazl Hosseini-Yazdi, Effat Alizadeh, Mehrdad Mahkam, Amer Jamalpoor, Jonathan M. White, Motahhareh Shojaei, O. Aizpurua-Olaizola, Rosalinde Masereeuw & Manoe J. Janssen

Published: 01/12/2019


Complexes based on heavy metals have great potential for the treatment of a wide variety of cancers but their use is often limited due to toxic side effects. Here we describe the synthesis of two new cadmium complexes using N(4)-phenyl-2-formylpyridine thiosemicarbazone (L1) and 5-aminotetrazole (L2) as organic ligands and the evaluation of their anti-cancer and nephrotoxic potential in vitro. The complexes were characterized by Single-crystal X-ray data diffraction, 1HNMR, FT-IR, LC/MS spectrometry and CHN elemental analysis. Next, cytotoxicity of these cadmium complexes was evaluated in several cancer cell lines, including MCF-7 (breast), Caco-2 (colorectal) and cisplatin-resistant A549 (lung) cancer cell lines, as well as in conditionally-immortalized renal proximal tubule epithelial cell lines for evaluating nephrotoxicity compared to cisplatin. We found that both compounds were toxic to the cancer cell lines in a cell-cycle dependent manner and induced caspase-mediated apoptosis and caspase-independent cell death. Nephrotoxicity of these compounds was compared to cisplatin, a known nephrotoxic drug, in vitro. Our results demonstrate that compound {2}, but not compound {1}, exerts increased cytotoxicity in MCF-7 and A549 cell lines, combined with reduced nephrotoxic potential compared to cisplatin. Together these data make compound {2} a likely candidate for further development in cancer treatment.

Full Access Link: Scientific Reports