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Time lapse microscopy observation of cellular structural changes and image analysis of drug treated cancer cells to characterize the cellular heterogeneity



The effect of Calotropis gigantea latex (CGLX) on human mammary carcinoma cells is not well established. We present the results of this drug activity at total population and single cell level. CGLX inhibited the growth of MCF7 cancer cells at lower IC50 concentration (17 µL/mL). Microscopy of IC50 drug treated cells at 24 hr confirming the appearance of morphological characteristics of apoptotic and necrotic cells, associated with 70% of DNA damage. FACS analysis confirmed that, 10 and 20% of the disruption of cellular mitochondrial nature by at 24 and 48 h, respectively. Microscopic image analysis of total population level proved that MMP changes were statistically significant with P values. The cell to cell variation was confirmed by functional heterogeneity analysis which proves that CGLX was able to induce the apoptosis without the contribution of mitochondria. We conclude that CGLX inhibits cell proliferation, survival, and heterogeneity of pathways in human mammary carcinoma cells. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 30: 724–734, 2015.