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Eur J Cancer Prev. 2009 Aug;18(4):331-41. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32832c3859.

Chinese medicinal herb Scutellaria barbata modulates apoptosis and cell survival in murine and human prostate cancer cells and tumor development in TRAMP mice.

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Department of Biology, Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA 94508, USA.


Scutellaria barbata (SB) has been used in Chinese medicine to treat various cancers. This study investigated the effects of SB on prostate cancer prevention. Male TRansgenic Adenocarcinoma Mouse Prostate (TRAMP) mice at 9 weeks were randomly divided into four groups and given daily oral feedings of 8, 16, or 32 mg SB or sterilized water. In the control group, palpable tumors initially appeared at 19 weeks of age and were present in all mice by 32 weeks. In the respective treatment groups, palpable tumor development was delayed by 2, 4, and 7 weeks and 22, 30, and 38% of the mice were free of palpable tumors. Palpable tumor development in 50% of the mice occurred at 25 weeks in the placebo group, 29 weeks in the low-dose and mid-dose treatment groups, and 33 weeks in the high-dose group (log rank, P = 0.0211). Histological assessment further showed that the SB treatment (32 mg) delayed prostate tumor progression in the TRAMP mice. Caspase 3 activation was observed in SB-treated prostate tissue. Positive TUNEL assay results were detected in TRAMP-C1 and LNCaP cells treated with SB (1 mg/ml), which indicated significant apoptosis induction. Western blotting of SB-treated LNCaP cells also showed elevated expression of Bax, p53, Akt, and JNK. In-vivo data showed that the SB delayed tumor development in TRAMP mice. Complementary in-vitro data indicated that SB might exert this function by upregulating the apoptotic pathway and downregulating the survival pathway in prostate cancer cells, thus suggesting that SB possesses chemopreventive properties and has potential for cancer treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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