Impact of Morphine on Viability of MCF-7 and T47D Breast Cancer Cells

Ileana MICLEA, Ana-Maria PUI, Marius ZĂHAN


Morphine, a highly potent analgesic, is prescribed for the treatment of severe pain associated with cancer. Several in vitro and animal studies suggest that morphine is involved both in promoting and inhibiting tumor growth. Our aim was to test the outcome of adding morphine to the culture media of cells from two of the most widely used breast cancer cell lines. MCF-7 and T47D cells were seeded into 96-well microplates and cultured for 24 hours in MEM and RPMI-1640 media respectively. Afterwards, cells were exposed for 24, 48 or 72 hours to media containing morphine at the following concentrations: 0.05, 0.075, 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1 μM. Cell viability was assessed by the MTT colorimetric method. After exposure of MCF-7 cells to morphine for 24 and 48 hours, viability was similar to the control while, after 72 hours, this parameter was significantly enhanced at 0.75 μM and 1 μM. Survival of T47D cells in the first 24 hours was significantly (p<0.05) increased by the presence of 1 μM morphine, while an increased exposure time did not improve the outcome. Our results show that morphine can increase viability of breast cancer cells, depending on concentration, exposure time and cell origin.


cell viability; MCF-7; morphine; T47D.

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