Ultrasound-induced apoptosis in the presence of Sonazoid and associated alterations in gene expression levels: A possible therapeutic application

Yukihiro Furusawa, Qing Li Zhao, Mariame Ali Hassan, Yoshiaki Tabuchi, Ichiro Takasaki, Shigehito Wada, Takashi Kondo

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasound (US) has been shown to induce apoptosis and cell lysis in cancer cells. In this study, we report on the potential of using Sonazoid, a new echo-contrast agent, that is chemically more stable and US-resistant in combination with US in cancer therapy. The biological effects and their mechanisms in the presence or absence of ultrasonic exposure in vitro were investigated. In addition, the impact of the agent on the expression levels of genes responsive to US was studied using global-scale microarrays and computational gene expression analysis tools. Our results show that the combination led to enhanced cell killing in the presence of 1 MHz acoustic field. The apoptosis induction was shown to be mediated by the mitochondrial pathway. The occurrence of US-induced DNA damage was also observed. Despite these findings, the agent at concentrations similar to those clinically used can be considered as well tolerated. Furthermore, Sonazoid enhanced expression of genes that related to apoptosis and are responsive to US, although it alone had almost no effect. These results indicate the potential of Sonazoid for US contrast enhancement as well as the possibility of its use in US-aided therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Feb 1



  • Apoptosis
  • GeneChip analysis
  • Low-intensity ultrasound
  • Sonazoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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