The key difference between cytotoxicity and antiproliferative activity is that cytotoxicity is the property of being toxic to cells, while antiproliferative activity is the property of suppressing cell growth.
Toxicology is the field of study on the harmful effects of chemicals, substances, or situations, particularly on living systems. Cytotoxicity and antiproliferative activity are two different properties extensively discussed in toxicology. They are used to control certain diseases, especially cancers. In cytotoxicity, cells undergo death primarily due to severe stress, while in antiproliferative activity, cell cycle arrest and DNA degradation are observed. Therefore, these are major properties or qualities considered important in cancer treatment.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Cytotoxicity
3. What is Antiproliferative Activity
4. Similarities – Cytotoxicity and Antiproliferative Activity
5. Cytotoxicity vs. Antiproliferative Activity in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Cytotoxicity vs. Antiproliferative Activity
What is Cytotoxicity?
Cytotoxicity is the property of being toxic to the biological cell. When treating cells with cytotoxic agents, it can result in a variety of cell fates. The cells may lose membrane integrity and die quickly due to different scenarios such as cell lysis, cells stopping active growing and dividing, or cells activating the genetic pathway of controlled death called apoptosis. In cancer therapy, chemotherapy contains cytotoxic drugs. Moreover, these drugs interfere with cell division and cannot distinguish between normal and malignant cells. Overall, these drugs inhibit cell division to kill cancers.
In immunology, antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) refers to the ability of specific lymphocytes, marked by antibodies, to kill target cells. In contrast, lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxicity (LMC) involves the direct killing of target cells without the need for antibodies as mediators. Furthermore, several cytotoxic lymphocytes are involved in the immune system, such as cytotoxic T cells, natural killer cells, and natural killer T cells. The negative effects of cytotoxicity can be observed in the case of puff adder and brown recluse spider bite that trigger necrotic venoms to destroy human cells.
What is Antiproliferative Activity?
Antiproliferative activity is described as the inhibition of cell growth and multiplication. It is an important aspect of structured multicellular organisms for survival. Antiproliferative activity is a main property used in the chemotherapy of cancer, treatment of skin diseases, and treatment of infection.
Nitric oxide, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lipid A-associated protein, and polyunsaturated fatty acid are well-known antiproliferative agents. Both nitric oxide and lipopolysaccharide have tumoricidal activity in vitro, whereas polyunsaturated fatty acid causes permanent cellular growth arrest. Furthermore, nitric oxide is used for treating human breast cancer, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid is used for treating malignant epithelium.
What are the Similarities Between Cytotoxicity and Antiproliferative Activity?
- Cytotoxicity and antiproliferative activity are two properties used to control certain diseases, such as cancers.
- Both properties are extensively discussed in toxicology.
- These properties can be collectively used in the chemotherapy of cancers.
- Some substances or compounds have both properties within them.
What is the Difference Between Cytotoxicity and Antiproliferative Activity?
Cytotoxicity is known as the property of being toxic to cells, while antiproliferative activity is known as the property of suppressing cell growth. Thus, this is the key difference between cytotoxicity and antiproliferative activity. Furthermore, cytotoxicity uses different mechanisms such as cell lysis, stopping active growth and dividing of cells, or triggering the genetic apoptosis pathway. On the other hand, antiproliferative activity uses different mechanisms, such as cell cycle arrest or delay and DNA degradation up to a certain level.
The infographic below presents the differences between cytotoxicity and antiproliferative activity in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Cytotoxicity vs. Antiproliferative Activity
Cytotoxicity and antiproliferative activity are two properties extensively discussed in toxicology. They are used to control certain diseases, such as cancers. Cytotoxicity is the property of being toxic to cells, while antiproliferative activity is the property of suppressing cell growth. So, this summarizes the difference between cytotoxicity and antiproliferative activity.
1. “Cytotoxicity – An Overview.” Science Direct.
2. Talib, Wamidh H, and Adel M Mahasneh. “Antiproliferative Activity of Plant Extracts Used against Cancer in Traditional Medicine.” Scientia Pharmaceutica, U.S. National Library of Medicine.