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Oncol Rep. 2009 Aug;22(2):377-83.

Serenoa repens induces growth arrest and apoptosis of human multiple myeloma cells via inactivation of STAT 3 signaling.

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Department of Neurology, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang 110032, People's Republic of China.


Serenoa repens, a palm species native to the Southeastern United States, is one of the widely used phytotherapeutic agents in benign prostatic hyperplasia. In this study, we found for the first time that Serenoa repens induced growth arrest of a variety of human leukemia cells including U266 and RPMI 8226 multiple myeloma cells as measured by mitochondrial-dependent conversion of the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. TUNEL assays showed that Serenoa repens induced apoptosis of U266 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Serenoa repens also increased the expression of cleaved-PARP or p27 protein in different human leukemia cell lines. In addition, we found that Serenoa repens down-regulated basal level of phosphorylated form of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT 3) and Interleukin-6 induced level of phosphorylated form of STAT 3 and extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) were also reduced after Serenoa repens treatment in U266 cells. Furthermore, we found that inhibition of STAT 3 signaling by Serenoa repens or Janus family of tyrosine kinase (JAK) inhibitor of AG490 enhanced the ability of docetaxel to inhibit the growth of U266 and RPMI 8226 cells, as measured by trypan blue exclusion test. These results indicate that Serenoa repens might be useful for the treatment of individuals with multiple myeloma.

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