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J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Nov 4;192:431-441. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.09.019. Epub 2016 Sep 8.

Kochia scoparia induces apoptosis of oral cancer cells in vitro and in heterotopic tumors.

Author information

1
Department of Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry, Research Institute for Oral Biotechnology, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Gyeongnam 50612, South Korea.
2
Department of Oral Physiology, BK21 Plus Project, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Gyeongnam 50612, South Korea.
3
Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, BK21 Plus project, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Gyeongnam 50612, South Korea.
4
Division of Pharmacology, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Gyeongnam 50612, South Korea.
5
Department of Oral Pathology, BK21 Plus project, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Gyeongnam 50612, South Korea. Electronic address: apollon@pusan.ac.kr.

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:

Kochia scoparia grows commonly in China, Japan, and Korea and its mature fruit has been used throughout the area in traditional medicine to treat diseases including skin problems and inflammatory and allergic disease. More importantly, Kochia scoparia has been prescribed to treat the malignant tumor of head and neck region and breast mass. Although it has been proposed as an anti-cancer agent for several cancers, its exact in vivo anti-cancer properties and the molecular mechanisms underlying its effects are poorly understood.

AIM OF THE STUDY:

To evaluate the anti-cancer activity of the methanol extract of K. scoparia, mature fruit (MEKS) on oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and to explore its mode of action.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

To assess proliferation inhibition and apoptosis induction by MEKS, MTT assays, cell analysis, ANNEXIN V and PI double staining, and Hoechst 33342 staining were performed. The activation of caspases and the MAP kinase p38 was evaluated using Western blot analysis. The anti-cancer properties of MEKS in vivo were elucidated in a heterotopic OSCC animal model.

RESULTS:

After OSCC cells were treated with MEKS, the numbers of sub-G1 accumulated cells and apoptotic bodies increased, indicating that MEKS inhibited OSCC cell proliferation selectively through induction of apoptosis. Apoptosis of MEKS-treated OSCC cells was induced in a dose-dependent manner by caspase-3 and -9 activation. In addition, pretreatment with p38 inhibitor SB203580 in combination with MEKS significantly prevented MEKS-induced apoptosis in OSCC cells and also decreased cleaved capase 3, 9, and cleaved PARP activity in western blotting. MEKS treatment significantly increased the apoptosis of OSCC and inhibited tumour growth in our animal model.

CONCLUSION:

Taken together, these results indicated that MEKS induced apoptosis of OSCC cells through caspase activation involving the p38 MAPK pathway. MEKS could be a promising anti-cancer candidate for OSCC treatment.

KEYWORDS:

Anti-cancer property; In vivo models; Kochia scoparia; Oral cancer; Traditional Chinese medicine; p38

PMID:
27616033
DOI:
10.1016/j.jep.2016.09.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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