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Redox Rep. 2009;14(4):176-84. doi: 10.1179/135100009X466122.

Intracellular glutathione regulates Andrographolide-induced cytotoxicity on hepatoma Hep3B cells.

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Key Laboratory of Standardization of Chinese Medicines of Ministry of Education, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Complex Prescription, Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, People's Republic China.


Andrographolide (ANDRO), a diterpenoid lactone isolated from the traditional herbal plant Andrographis paniculata, was reported to induce apoptosis in hepatoma Hep3B cells in our previous study (Ji LL, Liu TY, Liu J, Chen Y, Wang ZT. Andrographolide inhibits human hepatoma-derived Hep3B cells growth through the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Planta Med 2007; 73: 1397-1401). The present investigation was carried out to observe whether cellular reduced glutathione (GSH) plays important roles in ANDRO-induced apoptosis. ANDRO initially increased intracellular GSH levels which then decreased later, while inhibition of cellular GSH synthesis by L-Buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO) augmented ANDRO-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis in Hep3B cells. On the other hand, the thiol antioxidant dithiothreitol (DTT) rescued ANDRO-depleted cellular GSH, and abrogated ANDRO-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis. Furthermore, BSO pretreatment augmented ANDRO-decreased expression of antioxidant protein thioredoxin 1 (Trx1), while DTT reversed this decrease. Further results showed that ANDRO increased the activity of the GSH-related antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Taken together, this study demonstrates that the intracellular redox system plays important roles in regulating the cytotoxicity of ANDRO on hepatoma Hep3B cells.

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