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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Apr 30;317(2):618-24.

Suppression of angiogenesis by the plant alkaloid, sanguinarine.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Chonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju 560-180, Republic of Korea.


Sanguinarine is a benzophenanthridine alkaloid derived from the root of Sanguinaria canadensis. Its principal pharmacologic use is in dental products where it has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory activities that reduce gingival inflammation and supragingival plaque formation. Angiogenesis is indispensable for inflammation, and most angiogenesis is dependent on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, the effect of sanguinarine on angiogenesis is not known. In the present study, we examined the effect of sanguinarine on VEGF-induced angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, sanguinarine markedly suppressed VEGF-induced endothelial cell migration, sprouting, and survival in vitro in a dose-dependent manner at nanomolar concentrations. Furthermore, sanguinarine potently suppressed blood vessel formation in vivo in mouse Matrigel plugs and the chorioallantoic membrane of chick embryos. Our biochemical assays indicated that sanguinarine strongly suppressed basal and VEGF-induced Akt phosphorylation, while it did not produce any changes in VEGF-induced activation of ERK1/2 and PLCgamma1. Therefore, we conclude that sanguinarine is a potent antiangiogenic natural product, and its mode of action could involve the blocking of VEGF-induced Akt activation. Thus, in addition to antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory activities, sanguinarine has a novel antiangiogenic role.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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