Effect of a novel copper (ii) complex on the induction of apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Mehdi Mahmoodi,1 Soudeh khanamani falahati-pour,2 Mohammad reza hajizadeh,3 Fatemeh mohammadizadeh,4 Mohammad reza mirzaei,5 Mehdi mahmoodi,6,*

1. Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences
2. Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences
3. Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences
4. Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences
5. Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences
6. Afzalipoor Faculty of Medicine



Copper is an essential element for cell growth. many drugs, used in clinical practice, have metal-chelating ability and display cytotoxicity. in vitro copper complexes generally show an enhanced anti-proliferative activity.


In the present study, we aimed to identify the anti-proliferative potential of [cu(l)(2imi)] complex as a novel cu complex against hepg2 cells as an in vitro model of human hepatocellular carcinoma and normal mouse fibroblast l929 cells using mtt assay.


Cytotoxicity induced by [cu(l)(2imi)] complex was time dependent manner. also, there was a positive correlation between cytotoxicity and an increase in cu complex concentration. for hepg2 cells, the cell viability percentage was 50% at 58 μg/ml after 24 h treatment, whereas in the same concentration and conditions, the viability percentage was surprisingly higher (about 100%) for l929 cells. also, after 48 h treatment, the viability percentage of hepg2 cells at 55 μg/ml concentration was 50% in contrast with 89.3% for l929 cells in the same conditions. flow cytometry findings suggest that [cu(l)(2imi)] complex is capable of decreasing cancer cell viability through apoptosis and did not efficiently activate the necrosis process.


Finally, we found that [cu(l)(2imi)] complex possess the potential for development as an anti-cancer drug for human hepatocellular carcinoma.


Apoptosis, [cu(l)(2imi)] complex, cytotoxicity, hepatocellular carcinoma, mouse fibroblast l929 cell