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Chin Med J (Engl). 2013;126(19):3739-44.

Proliferative and apoptotic effects of andrographolide on the BGC-823 human gastric cancer cell line.

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  • 1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital, Hebei North University, Zhangjiakou, Hebei 075000, China.



Andrographolide has been shown to have anticancer activity on diverse cancer cell lines representing different types of human cancers. The aim of this research was to investigate the anticancer and apoptotic effects of andrographolide on the BGC-823 human gastric cancer cell line.


Cell proliferation and IC50 were evaluated using MTT assay, cell-cycle analysis with flow cytometry apoptotic effects with Annexin-V/propidium iodide double-staining assay, and morphologic structure with transmission electron microscopy. Immunohistochemistry and reverse-transcription PCR was used to analyze Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3 expressions.


Andrographolide showed a time- and concentration-dependent inhibitory effects on BGC-823 cell growth. Compared to controls, the number of cells in the G0-G1-phase increased significantly, S and G2-M-phase cells decreased after 48 hours of treatment with andrographolide, and both early and late apoptotic rates increased significantly compared to the controls, all in a concentration-dependent manner. Bax and caspase-3 expressions were markedly increased, and Bcl-2 expression was decreased.


Andrographolide inhibits BGC-823 cell growth and induces BGC-823 cell apoptosis by up-regulating Bax and caspase-3 expressions and down-regulating Bcl-2 expression. Andrographolide may be useful as a potent and selective agent in the treatment of human gastric cancers.

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