Procedures—Cell viability assays were performed on canine osteosarcoma cell lines OSCA2, OSCA16, OSCA50, and D17 after 24, 48, and 72 hours of treatment with dihydroartemisinin at concentrations of 0.1 to 100μM. Apoptosis was assessed by use of an ELISA for free nuclosomal DNA fragmentation and by western blot analysis for cleavage of caspase 3. Cell cycle analysis was performed by use of staining with propidium iodide and flow cytometry. Detection of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was conducted in the D17 cell line by use of 6-carboxy-2′,7′-dihydrofluorescein diacetate and flow cytometry.
Results—The concentration of dihydroartemisinin required for 50% inhibition of cell viability (IC50) was achieved in all 4 canine osteosarcoma cell lines and ranged from 8.7 to 43.6μM. Induction of apoptosis was evident as an increase in nucleosomal DNA fragmentation, cleavage of caspase 3, and an increase in the population in the sub G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle detected by flow cytometry. Exposure to dihydroartemisinin also resulted in a decrease in the G0/G1 population. Iron-dependent generation of ROS was detected in dihydroartemisinin-treated D17 cells; ROS generation increased in a dose-dependent manner.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Incubation with dihydroartemisinin resulted in biological activity against canine osteosarcoma cell lines, which included induction of apoptosis and arrest of the cell cycle. Clinical trials of dihydroartemisinin in dogs with osteosarcoma should be conducted.