Send to

Choose Destination
Oncol Rep. 2005 Jun;13(6):1211-6.

Growth inhibition of U937 leukemia cells by aqueous extract of Cordyceps militaris through induction of apoptosis.

Author information

Department of Oriental Medicine, Dongeui University College of Oriental Medicine, Biomedical Research Center of Oriental Medicine, Busan 614-052, Korea.


Cordyceps militaris is a traditional herbal ingredient, which has been used for patients suffering from cancer in Oriental medicine. In the present study, we investigated the biochemical mechanisms of anti-proliferative effects by aqueous extract of C. militaris (AECM) in human leukemia U937 cells. It was found that AECM could inhibit cell growth of U937 cells in a dose-dependent manner, which was associated with morphological change and apoptotic cell death such as formation of apoptotic bodies and DNA fragmentation. We observed the down-regulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression and proteolytic activation of caspase-3 in AECM-treated U937 cells. However, AECM did not affect the pro-apoptotic Bax expression and activity of caspase-9. Furthermore, Western blotting and RT-PCR revealed that AECM treatment caused a dose-dependent inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 and prostaglandin E2 accumulation. Taken together, these results indicated that the anti-proliferative effects of AECM were associated with the induction of apoptotic cell death through regulation of several major growth regulatory gene products such as Bcl-2 family expression and caspase protease activity, and AECM may have therapeutic potential in human leukemia treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Spandidos Publications
Loading ...
Support Center