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Genet Mol Res. 2016 Aug 19;15(3). doi: 10.4238/gmr.15037662.

Cinnamon effectively inhibits the activity of leukemia stem cells.

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Department of Hematology, the First People's Hospital of Yunnan Province, Kunming, China.
Bifeng Technology Co., Ltd. of Guangdong Province, Zhuhai, China 3Department of Clinical Laboratory, The First People's Hospital of Yunnan Province, Kunming, China.
Associação Sergipana dos Criadores de Caprinos e Ovinos, Aracaju, SE, Brasil.
Department of Obstetrics, the First People's Hospital of Yunnan Province, Kunming, China.


Cinnamon is the main component of Sanyangxuedai, which is one of the effective traditional Chinese medicines for treating malignancies. Leukemia is a prevalent malignant disease that Sanyangxuedai has been used to treat. Although successful in several studies, there is a lack of solid evidence as to why Sanyangxuedai has an effect on leukemia, and little is known about the underlying mechanisms. In this study, the active ingredients of cinnamon were isolated, purified, and identified. The transwell transport pool formed with the Caco-2 cell model was used to filter the active ingredients of cinnamon by simulating the gastrointestinal barrier in vitro. Moreover, the cell morphology, cell cycle status, apoptosis status, and antigenic variation of the cell surface antigens were observed and measured in K562 cells after treatment with the active ingredients of cinnamon. Our results showed that 50-75 μM was a safe concentration of cinnamon extract for treatment of K562 cells for 72 h. The cinnamon extract caused growth inhibition of K562 cells. Cinnamon extract seemed to arrest the cells at the G1 stage and increased the apoptosis rate significantly. Interestingly, cinnamon extract treatment upregulated the expression of erythroid and myeloid differentiation antigens and downregulated that of the megakaryocytic differentiation antigens in a dose-dependent manner. Our findings indicate that cinnamon extract from Sanyangxuedai may be effective for treating leukemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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