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Antiangiogenic activity of Tripterygium wilfordii and its terpenoids

He, Ming-Fang, Liu, Lin, Ge, Wei, Shaw, Pang-Chui, Jiang, Renwang, Wu, Li-Wha, But, Paul Pui-Hay
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2009 v.121 no.1 pp. 61-68
Oriental traditional medicine, chemical constituents of plants, medicinal plants, terpenoids, Tripterygium wilfordii, medicinal properties, plant extracts, Danio rerio, embryo (animal), dose response, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, messenger RNA, signal transduction, neoplasms, China
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. f. (Celastraceae) has been traditionally used as folk medicine for centuries in China for the treatment of immune-inflammatory diseases. Aim of the study: This study aimed to assess the antiangiogenic activities which support the therapeutic use of Tripterygium wilfordii and its terpenoids for angiogenesis disease such as cancer. Materials and methods: The ethanol extract of Tripterygium wilfordii and subsequent fractions were evaluated on an in vivo antiangiogenic zebrafish embryo model. Results: Three antiangiogenic terpenoids were isolated by bioassay-guided purification, namely, celastrol (4), cangoronine (5) and triptolide (7). Among them, triptolide manifested the most potent antiangiogenic activity against vessel formation by nearly 50% at 1.2μM. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that triptolide dose- and time-dependently reduced the mRNA expression of angiopoietin (angpt)2 and tie2 in zebrafish, indicating the involvement of angpt2/tie2 signaling pathway in the antiangiogenic action of triptolide. Conclusions: The discovery of an alternative pathway further confirms the value of ethnopharmacological investigations into traditional botanicals for leads for potential drug development.