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[Proliferative inhibition and apoptotic induction effects of crocin on human leukemia HL-60 cells and their mechanisms].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Pediatric Hematology, Central Laboratory, Qingdao University Medical College, Affiliated Hospital, Qingdao, 266003, Shandong Province, China.


This study was to investigate the proliferative inhibition and apoptosis of human leukemia HL-60 cells induced by crocin and their possible mechanisms. The cell viability was tested by cell counting. The morphology of HL-60 cells was observed by fluorescence microscopy. The MTT assay was used to evaluate the inhibitory effect of crocin on the growth of HL-60 cells. Flow cytometry was used to measure the cell cycle. RT-PCR was used to detect bcl-2 and bax expression. The results indicated that the growth of HL-60 cells was inhibited remarkably in the dose and time dependent way. When the crocin concentration was higher than 5 mg/ml, the percentage of apoptotic HL-60 cells was not increased, on the contrary this percentage decreased, the cells manifested necrosis. Flow cytometry profiles revealed that cells were blocked in G₀/G₁ phase, the cell proliferation was inhibited obviously at 5 mg/ml. RT-PCR detection revealed that the expression of bcl-2 was down-regulated strikingly and bax was up-regulated. It is concluded that the crocin can inhibit the proliferation of HL-60 cells effectively, and block cells in G₀/G₁ phase. The mechanisms by which crocin induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells may be related to the inhibition of bcl-2 and activation of bax.

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