Cetylpyridinium chloride inhibits human breast tumor cells growth in a no-selective way

Claudia María García-Cuellar, Rene Hernández-Delgadillo, Juan Manuel Solis-Soto, Irene Meester, Yesennia Sánchez-Pérez, Sergio Eduardo Nakagoshi-Cepeda, María Argelia Akemi Nakagoshi-Cepeda, Shankararaman Chellam, Claudio Cabral-Romero

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3 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Analyze the antitumor capacity of cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) on human breast tumor cells, and the possible action mechanism.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The human breast tumor cells MCF-7 and no-tumor breast cells MCF-10A were exposed to CPC under various condition (concentration and duration). Cell viability was measured with MTT assay, the LIVE/DEAD assay, and fluorescence microscopy. Membrane permeability after CPC exposure was evaluated by Calcein AM assay, mitochondrial morphology with a MitoView staining, and genotoxicity with the comet assay and fluorescence microscopy.

RESULTS: CPC was cytotoxic to both MCF-7 and MCF-10A as of a 24-h exposure to 0.1 µM. Cytotoxicity was dose-dependent and reached 91% for MCF-7 and 78% for MCF-10A after a 24-h exposure to 100 µM CPC, which outperformed the positive control doxorubicin in effectiveness and selectivity. The LD50 of CPC on was 6 µM for MCF-7 and 8 µM for MCF-10A, yielding a selectivity index of 1.41. A time response analysis revealed 64% dead cells after only 5 min of exposure to 100 µM CPC. With respect to the action mechanisms, the comet assay did not reveal genome fragmentation. On the other hand, membrane damage was dose-dependent and may also affect mitochondrial morphology.

CONCLUSION: Cetylpyridinium chloride inhibits MCF-7 cell growing in a non-selective way as of 5 min of exposure. The action mechanism of CPC on tumor cells involves cell membrane damage without change neither mitochondrial morphology nor genotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22808000221092157
JournalJournal of Applied Biomaterials and Functional Materials
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The authors want to thank to CONACyT for the grant A1-S-20148; an approved project by the Sectorial Fund for Education Research.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


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