Niclosamide Suppresses Proliferation, Induces Apoptosis and Inhibits Wnt/β-catenin Signaling Pathway in Human Ovarian Cancer Cells

  • Ayşe Çakır Gündoğdu Gazi University
  • Gülnur TAKE KAPLANOĞLU Gazi University
  • Hülya Sivas Anadolu University
  • Reyhan Varol Anadolu University
  • Cemile Merve Seymen Gazi University
Keywords: OVCAR-3, niclosamide, 5-fluorouracil, Wnt/β-catenin, proliferation, apoptosis


Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate in vitro effects of an antihelminthic drug niclosamide on human ovarian carcinoma cell line OVCAR-3. Methods: MTT assay was applied to investigate the cytotoxic effects of niclosamide on the cells. β-catenin levels in the cells were analyzed by immunocytochemistry, in order to assess the potency of niclosamide on Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway that function in cell proliferation. The effects of the drug on apoptosis were detected by TUNEL method. All the assays were also performed for chemotherapy agent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and anticancer effects of these two drugs were compared. Results: It was found that niclosamide at 1 μM and 2 μM concentrations reduced cell viability, whereas 5-FU showed its significant proliferation inhibitory effect at higher concentrations. Niclosamide led to an increase in apoptosis while this effect was weaker compared with 5-FU. Niclosamide treatment decreased β-catenin staining in the cells significantly but 5-FU did not affect β-catenin levels. Conclusion: The results indicate that niclosamide induces apoptosis and suppresses cell proliferation by inhibiting Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in OVCAR-3 cells. In conclusion, these findings warrant further evaluation of niclosamide as a promising therapy for ovarian cancer.

Author Biographies

Ayşe Çakır Gündoğdu, Gazi University
Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey M.Sc.
Gülnur TAKE KAPLANOĞLU, Gazi University
Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey Ph.D.
Hülya Sivas, Anadolu University
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey Ph.D.
Reyhan Varol, Anadolu University
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey
Cemile Merve Seymen, Gazi University
Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey


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Original Research