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Antiangiogenic and antihepatocellular carcinoma activities of the Juniperus chinensis extract

Kuo, Zong-Keng, Lin, Mei-Wei, Lu, I-Huang, Yao, Hsin-Jan, Wu, Hsin-Chieh, Wang, Chun-Chung, Lin, Shyh-Horng, Wu, Si-Yuan, Tong, Tien-Soung, Cheng, Yi-Cheng, Yen, Jui-Hung, Ko, Ching-Huai, Chiou, Shu-Jiau, Pan, I-Horng, Tseng, Hsiang-Wen
BMC complementary and alternative medicine 2016 v.16 no.1 pp. 277
Juniperus chinensis, active ingredients, alternative medicine, angiogenesis, animal models, apoptosis, biomarkers, carcinoma, cell cycle, cell proliferation, chorioallantoic membrane, cyclins, drugs, hepatoma, human umbilical vein endothelial cells, immunohistochemistry, in vitro studies, in vivo studies, mice, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, severe combined immunodeficiency, staining
BACKGROUND: To identify a novel therapeutic agent for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), for which no promising therapeutic agent exists, we screened a panel of plants and found that Juniperus chinensis exhibited potential antiangiogenic and anti-HCC activities. We further investigated the antiangiogenic and anti-HCC effects of the active ingredient of J. chinensis extract, CBT-143-S-F6F7, both in vitro and in vivo. METHODS: A tube formation assay conducted using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) was first performed to identify the active ingredient of CBT-143-S-F6F7. A series of angiogenesis studies, including HUVEC migration, Matrigel plug, and chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assays, were then performed to confirm the effects of CBT-143-S-F6F7 on angiogenesis. The effects of CBT-143-S-F6F7 on tumor growth were investigated using a subcutaneous and orthotopic mouse model of HCC. In vitro studies were performed to investigate the effects of CBT-143-S-F6F7 on the cell cycle and apoptosis in HCC cells. Moreover, protein arrays for angiogenesis and apoptosis were used to discover biomarkers that may be influenced by CBT-143-S-F6F7. Finally, nuclear magnetic resonance analysis was conducted to identify the compounds of CBT-143-S-F6F7. RESULTS: CBT-143-S-F6F7 showed significantly antiangiogenic activity in various assays, including HUVEC tube formation and migration, CAM, and Matrigel plug assays. In in vivo studies, gavage with CBT-143-S-F6F7 significantly repressed subcutaneous Huh7 tumor growth in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice, and prolonged the survival of orthotopic Huh7 tumor-bearing SCID mice (a 40 % increase in median survival duration compared with the vehicle-treated mice). Immunohistochemical staining of subcutaneous Huh7 tumors in CBT-143-S-F6F7-treated mice showed a significantly decrease in the cell cycle regulatory protein cyclin D1, cellular proliferation marker Ki-67, and endothelial marker CD31. CBT-143-S-F6F7 caused arrest of the G2/M phase and induced Huh7 cell apoptosis, possibly contributing to the inhibition of HCC tumors. Protein array analysis revealed that several angiogenic and antiapoptotic factors were suppressed in CBT-143-S-F6F7-treated Huh7 cells. Finally, five compounds from CBT-143-S-F6F7 were identified. CONCLUSIONS: According to these results, we report for the first time the antiangiogenic and anti-HCC activities of CBT-143-S-F6F7, the active fractional extract of J. chinensis. We believe that CBT-143-S-F6F7 warrants further evaluation as a new anti-HCC drug.