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Nat Prod Res. 2011 Nov;25(19):1885-9. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2010.541395. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Reversal effects of traditional Chinese herbs on multidrug resistance in cancer cells.

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Department of Natural Medicinal Chemistry, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, People's Republic of China.


Multidrug resistance (MDR) continues to be a major obstacle for successful anticancer therapy. In this work, fractions from 17 clinically used antitumour traditional Chinese medicinal herbs were tested for their potential to restore the sensitivity of MCF-7/ADR and A549/Taxol cells to a known antineoplastic agent. The effects of these fractions were evaluated by MTT method and an assay of the cellular accumulation of doxorubicin. Fractions from the PB group (herbs with the ability to promote blood circulation and remove blood stasis) showed more significant effects than fractions from the CH group (herbs with the ability to clear away heat and toxic materials). Fractions from CH₂Cl₂ extracts were more effective than fractions from EtOAc extracts. Five herbs (Curcuma wenyujin, Chrysanthemum indicum, Salvia chinensis, Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. and Cassia tora L.) could sensitise these resistant cancer cells at a non-toxic concentration (10 µg mL⁻¹), and markedly increased doxorubicin accumulation in MCF-7/ADR cells, which necessitates further investigations on the active ingredients of these herbs and their underlying mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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