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Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2011 Apr;67(4):799-808. doi: 10.1007/s00280-010-1378-x. Epub 2010 Jun 19.

Beta-elemene inhibits melanoma growth and metastasis via suppressing vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated angiogenesis.

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College of Pharmacy, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, 138 Xianlin Highway, 210046 Nanjing, China.



It was to assess antiangiogenic effect of β-elemene in vitro and in vivo, and it was involved in inhibiting melanoma growth and metastasis, as well as to elucidate its intrinsic mechanism.


Inhibitive effect of β-elemene on B16F10 cells was performed by cell proliferation assay. Angiogenesis assays in vitro including rat aortic ring and chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane were used, as well as melanoma growth and metastasis assay in C57BL/6 mice. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in vitro and in vivo was measured respectively by western blot analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Immunohistochemistry analysis of CD34 and VEGF expression in primary melanoma was also presented.


β-Elemene inhibited B16BF10 cell proliferation starting from 200 μM, but VEGF from 20 μM. Both 20 and 50 μM β-elemene in vitro inhibited VEGF-induced sprouting vessel of rat aortic ring and microvessel formation of chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane. In vivo, tumor size of primary melanoma in mice intraperitoneally treated with β-elemene was significantly smaller than that of the control; CD34 expression of primary melanoma was also suppressed; and the metastatic melanoma colonies and content of melanin in lung were detected obviously decreased in mice of β-elemene-treated groups. Furthermore, results of VEGF expressing in primary melanoma, serum and lung of mice also disclosed that VEGF was inhibited in vivo.


β-Elemene inhibited melanoma growth and metastasis through suppressing VEGF-mediated angiogenesis. It is a natural potential antiangiogenic agent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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