OBJECTIVES: It was previously shown that cholesteatoma migration in vitro is influenced by the calcium concentration of the culture medium. This study was designed to determine whether the calcium channel blocker verapamil affects cholesteatoma migration in vitro. METHODS: Cholesteatoma cells harvested from patients with chronic ear disease were grown in culture and were exposed to culture medium containing verapamil. The migration rate of the verapamil-exposed cells was compared with control rates. RESULTS: Verapamil at 300 μg/L caused marked reduction in the rate of migration compared with control values. The migration rate returned to normal within 48 hours after verapamil was removed from the culture medium. Higher verapamil concentrations (500 μg/L) caused complete detachment of the epithelial cells from the substrate within 24 hours. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that cholesteatoma migration in vitro is calcium channel dependent and can be reduced with calcium channel blockers such as verapamil.
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