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Phytomedicine. 2007 Feb;14(2-3):160-5. Epub 2006 May 18.

Reversal of multidrug resistance in cancer cells by Rhizoma Alismatis extract.

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Bioactive Products Research Group, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China.


Prolonged chemotherapy may lead to the selective proliferation of multidrug resistant (MDR) cancer cells. In MDR HepG2-DR and K562-DR cells that over-expressed P-glycoprotein (Pgp), the extract of the rhizomes of Alisma orientalis (Sam) Juzep. showed a synergistic growth inhibitory effect with cancer drugs that are Pgp substrates including actinomycin D, puromycin, paclitaxel, vinblastine and doxorubicin. At the same toxicity levels the herbal extract was more effective than verapamil, a standard Pgp inhibitor, in enhancing cellular doxorubicin accumulation and preventing the efflux of rhodamin-123 from the MDR cells. The extract restored the effect of vinblastine on the induction of G(2)/M arrest in MDR cells. Our data suggest that A. orientalis may contain components that are effective inhibitors of Pgp.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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