INTRODUCTION: Liver cancer is a leading cause of mortality. Sorafenib resistance and cancer stem cells (CSCs) are among the factors that contribute to a poor prognosis. Different drugs enrich different CSC populations with a variety of CSC markers. This study investigated the expression of CSC markers in HepG2 cells in response to low doses of sorafenib using flow cytometry.
METHODS: The cytotoxicity of sorafenib was determined using a cell counting kit-8 assay. The expressions of the CSC markers CD44, CD90, and CD133 were measured with flow cytometry after treatment with sorafenib for 72 hours.
RESULTS: Sofranib inhibited cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Low-dose sorafenib treatment increased CD44 expression; however, there was a decrease in the expression of CD133. An increasing trend was also seen in CD90 expression, but the difference was not significant.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The results indicate that CSC expression varied according to the sorafenib dose administered, which supports the role of CSCs as novel pharmacological targets and highlights the importance of their characterization and the ability to identify them.