19-Nor-1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2 (paricalcitol) exerts anticancer activity against HL-60 cells in vitro at clinically achievable concentrations

István Molnár, Timothy Kute, Mark C. Willingham, Gary G. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


19-Nor-1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2 (paricalcitol) is an analogue of 1,25(OH)2D3 with reduced calcemic effects that is approved in the United States for the suppression of parathyroid hormone in chronic renal failure. Paricalcitol has anticancer activity in prostate cancer cells. We tested the effects of paricalcitol on the HL-60 leukemia cells, studying cellular differentiation, cell cycle changes, apoptosis and cellular proliferation. Paricalcitol at 10-8 M concentration induced the maturation of HL-60 cells in a time-dependent manner, as shown by increased expression of CD11b differentiation surface antigen. The ability of HL-60 cells to reduce nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) was markedly increased after exposure to paricalcitol at 10-8 M for 72 h. Paricalcitol inhibited colony formation of HL-60 cells in a soft agar semisolid media after 10-day incubation (estimated IC50 of 5×10-9 M. Exposure to 10 -8M paricalcitol for 72 h increased the number of cells in G 0/G1 phase, and decreased the number of cells in S phase, and significantly increased the number of HL-60 cells undergoing apoptosis. The concentration required to achieve inhibition of growth of HL-60 cells is comparable to clinically achievable levels. These findings support the clinical evaluation of paricalcitol as an antileukemia agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-543
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Differentiation
  • Experimental therapeutics
  • HL-60
  • Paricalcitol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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