Scanning and transmission electron microscopic evaluation of human melanoma cells treated with adriamycin and actinomycin D.
A tumorigenic human cell line was derived from a patient with metastatic melanoma. Cells were treated with adriamycin or actinomycin D in order to assess morphological alterations induced by these anticancer agents. Exposure to 0.01 micrograms/ml adriamycin for one hour caused no observable morphological abnormalities as determined by SEM, while 0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 micrograms/ml concentrations of adriamycin produced surface alterations in the form of blebs, filopodia, microvilli and cell rounding. These alterations may be drug-affected changes of the cell surface or may reflect phases of the cell cycle directed by adriamycin action on the nucleus. Cell morphology appeared normal by SEM for 0.01, 0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 micrograms/ml concentrations of adriamycin when the cells were allowed to recover in drug-free media for 24 hours after initial drug incubation. Concentrations of 0.1, 1.0, and 10.0 micrograms/ml actinomycin D for 24 hours created morphological alterations characterized by cell rounding and long, dendritic-like processes. TEM of colonies treated in soft agar for 24 hours with either 1.0 micrograms/ml adriamycin or 1.0 micrograms/ml actinomycin D showed major morphological effects identified by increased cytoplasmic vacuolization and nuclear disintegration.