Despite the recent knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of corticosteroid drugs in lymphoid leukemia, information about the nanostructured surface morphology of the process of cell death is limited. Therefore, the main objective of this work is to analyze the effect of methylprednisolone on the morphology of B lymphoblast CCRF-SB cell line by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Morphological parameters such as height, cell diameter, and roughness were analyzed and used as indicator of cell surface damage. In accordance with AFM images, CCRF-SB cells show an ovoid shape, with a nucleus which occupies a great area of the cytoplasm delimited by the cellular membrane. When a CCRF-SB cells cell was exposed to the drug, the morphology of the cell changed. After 24 h, CCRF-SB cells remains in its ovoid shape; however, AFM images show irregularities that indicate disruption of the cellular membrane and the formation of cellular bodies in the cytoplasm and nucleus. Interestingly, AFM images showed dramatically changes in the morphology of the CCRF-SB cell after 48 h, where fragmentation of the cytoplasm and nucleus were recorded, as result of the cellular death process. These changes in the cellular morphology of CCRF-SB cell can be associated with the cell damage and death process caused by drugs such as methylprednisolone and can be used to control their effectiveness and to establish a correct diagnosis in cancer treatment.
Key words: Glucocorticoids, atomic force microscopy (AFM), cancer cells, CCRF-SB cell, roughness, nuclear cell fragmentation.
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