Ultrastructural effects of colchicine, vinblastine, and taxol in drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant J 774.2 cells

E. B. Masurovsky, S. B. Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cell lines derived from the murine macrophage-like cell J 774.2 are resistant to the cytotoxic effects of colchicine, vinblastine, and taxol. These multidrug-resistant (MDR) cells overproduce a family of ∼ 130-150 kDa P-glycoproteins (P-gp) associated with the plasma membrane region and display other typical features of the MDR phenotype. Ultrastructural analysis of drug-treated cells indicated that although hallmark structural effects engendered by each drug at efficacious doses were profound in the drug-sensitive J 774.2 cells, they were not evident in the similarly treated MDR cell lines. Thus, MDR phenotypic expression involved maintaining drug levels at subthreshold values so as to preclude the advent of these morphologic changes, and allowed vital tubulin-associated cellular processes, including replication, to occur. Using a polyclonal antibody specific for the P-gp, electron microscopic immunocytochemical evidence is presented for substantial association of P-gp with the plasma membrane/cell surface in the resistant cells which was not demonstrable in the drug-sensitive J 774.2 cells. This key cell surface localization of P-gp is germane to the postulated transport and related mechanisms whereby P-gp may play a pivotal role in endowing cells with multidrug resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-149
Number of pages12
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1989


  • Colchicine
  • J 774.2-cells
  • Multidrug resistance
  • Taxol
  • Vinblastine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrastructural effects of colchicine, vinblastine, and taxol in drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant J 774.2 cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this