Evaluation of the effect of hydrocortisone in 2D and 3D HEp-2 cell culture





Stress; Carcinoma; 3D Culture; Hydrocortisone.


Introduction: Cancer is one of the diseases with the highest incidence globally and that associated with the patient's emotional state, can act positively or negatively in the treatment. Cortisol is a principal primary stress hormone in the human body. The corticoids can increase cell proliferation and reactive oxygen species that contribute to DNA damage. Prolonged exposure to stress can contribute to tissues becoming insensitive to cortisol, the primary human stress hormone. Objective: This study explores cortisol's influence on tumor cell development, particularly in human cells of carcinoma of the human laryngeal (HEp-2). Methodology: HEp-2 cells were exposed to increasing cortisol (hydrocortisone) concentrations for 24 or 48 hours, and cytotoxicity (MTT assay) proliferation assay (crystal violet assay), and immunolabeled 3D culture for fibronectin and FAK were analyzed. Results: The group treated with hydrocortisone showed a significant increase in mitochondrial activity, as for the evaluation by the violet crystal, the treated group showed similar behavior to the control. The 3D culture showed dispersed cells within 24 hours with reduced FAK labeling; however, no changes were observed within 48 hours. Conclusion: Although some cases favored corticosteroid use in cancer patients, a more detailed analysis is necessary before prescribing them.


Bedillion, M. F., Ansell, E. B., Thomas, G. A., (2019). Cancer treatment effects on cognition and depression: The moderating role of physical activity. Breast 44,73-80.

Blackadar, C. B., (2016). Historical review of the causes of cancer. World J Clin Oncol 7, 54-86.

Bomfim, G. F., Merighe, G. K. F., de Oliveira, S. A., Negrao, J. A., (2018). Effect of acute stressors, adrenocorticotropic hormone administration, and cortisol release on milk yield, the expression of key genes, proliferation, and apoptosis in goat mammary epithelial cells. J Dairy Sci. 101, 6486-6496.

Chae, J., Lee, C., (2019). The psychological mechanism underlying communication effects on behavioral intention: focusing on affect and cognition in the cancer context. Communication Research. 46, 597-618.

Dai, S., Mo, Y., Wang, Y., Xiang, B., Liao, Q., Zhou, M., Li, X., Li, Y., Xiong, W., Li, G., Guo, C., Zeng, Z., (2020). Chronic Stress Promotes Cancer Development. Front Oncol. 10, 1-10.

Dong, J., Li, J., Li, J., Cui, L., Meng, X., Qu, Y., Wang, H., (2019). The proliferative effect of cortisol on bovine endometrial epithelial cells. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 17, 1-9.

Ferreira, Í. S., Araujo, A. S., Cajé, R. O., Lopes, A. P. (2021). Applications of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Cancer Patients: An integrative review. Research, Society and Development. 10, 1-16.

Iftikhar, A., Islam, M., Shepherd, S., Jones, S., Ellis, I. (2021). Cancer and Stress: Does It Make a Difference to the Patient When These Two

Challenges Collide? Cancers. 13, 163-191.

Lambert, M., Sabiston, C. M., Wrosch, C., Brunet, J. (2020). An investigation into socio‑demographic‑, health‑, and cancer‑related factors associated with cortisol and C‑reactive protein levels in breast cancer survivors: a longitudinal study. Breast Cancer 27, 1096–1106

Lillberg, K., Verkasalo, P. K., Kaprio, J., Teppo, L., Helenius, H., Koskenvuo, M., (2003). Stressful life events and risk of breast cancer in 10,808 women: a cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 157, 415-423.

Manoli, I., Alesci, S., Blackman, M. R., Su, Y. A., Rennert, O. M., Chrousos, G. P., (2007). Mitochondria as key components of the stress response. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 18, 190-198.

Pereira, A. S., Shitsuka, D. M., Parreira, F. J., Shitsuka, R. (2018). Metodologia da pesquisa científica. Ed. Santa Maria, RS: UFSM, NTE.

Reiche, E. M., Nunes, S. O., Morimoto, H. K., (2004). Stress, depression, the immune system, and cancer. Lancet Oncol. 5, 617-625.

Ruiz-Manzano, R. A., Lourdes, T. D., Segovia-Mendoza, M., Nava-Castro, K. E., Palacios-Arreola, M. I., Morales-Montor, J., (2019). Neuroimmunoendocrine interactions in tumorigenesis and breast cancer. in: lasfar, a., cohen-solal, k., editors. tumor progression and metastasis. London: IntechOpen.

Sephton, S. E., Sapolsky, R. M., Kraemer, H. C., Spiegel, D., (2000). Diurnal cortisol rhythm as a predictor of breast cancer survival. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 92, 994–1000.

Seyfried, T. N., Shelton, L. M., Mukherjee, P., (2010). Does the existing standard of care increase glioblastoma energy metabolism? Lancet Oncol. 11, 811-813.

Shannon, S., Vaca, C., Jia, D., Entersz, I., Schaer, A., Carcione, J., Weaver, M., Avidar, Y., Pettit, R., Nair, M., Khan, A., Foty. R. A., (2015). Dexamethasone-Mediated Activation of Fibronectin Matrix Assembly Reduces Dispersal of Primary Human Glioblastoma Cells. PLoS One.10, 1-26.

Spiegel, D., Giese-Davis, J., (2003). Depression and cancer: mechanisms and disease progression. Biol Psychiatry. 54, 269-282.

Vitale, I., Manic, G., Galassi, C., Galluzzi, L., (2019). Stress responses in stromal cells and tumor homeostasis. Pharmacol Ther. 200, 55-68.




How to Cite

FONSECA, M. de O. .; GODOI, B. H. .; SILVA, N. S. da .; PACHECO-SOARES, C. Evaluation of the effect of hydrocortisone in 2D and 3D HEp-2 cell culture. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 3, p. e7711327021, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i3.27021. Disponível em: https://rsdjournal.org/index.php/rsd/article/view/27021. Acesso em: 19 jun. 2024.



Health Sciences