Hexane/ethanol extract of Glycyrrhiza uralensis licorice suppresses doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in H9c2 rat cardiac myoblasts.

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Hallym University, Chuncheon 200-702, South Korea.
Experimental Biology and Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.23). 11/2008; 233(12):1554-60. DOI: 10.3181/0807-RM-221
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Doxorubicin (DOX) is an anthracycline antibiotic, and has been recognized as one of the most effective anti-neoplastic agents in cancer chemotherapy. However, its usefulness is limited by its profound cardiotoxicity. Licorice is one of the most frequently prescribed agents in traditional herbal medicine, and is also employed as a natural sweetening additive. In traditional Chinese medicine, licorice root is added to a variety of herbal preparations to detoxify the effects of the other herbs in the preparation. In the present study, we explored the possibility that Glycyrrhiza uralensis licorice may alleviate DOX-induced cardiotoxicity. The hexane/ethanol extract of Glycyrrhiza uralensis (HEGU), which lacks glycyrrhizin, was prepared because glycyrrhizin intake has previously been reported to induce hypertension. In an effort to determine whether HEGU ameliorates DOX-induced cytotoxicity in H9c2 rat cardiac myoblasts, the cells were pretreated with 0-15 mg/L HEGU, then treated with doxorubicin. The pretreatment of cells with HEGU resulted in a significant mitigation of DOX-induced reductions in cell numbers (34 +/- 7%) and increases in apoptosis (53 +/- 1%). The Western blot analysis of cell lysates showed that HEGU suppressed DOX-induced increases in the levels of p53, phospho-p53 (Ser 15), and Bax. In addition, HEGU induced an increase in the levels of Bcl-xL, regardless of DOX-treatment. HEGU inhibited the DOX-induced cleavage of caspases 9, 3, and 7, as well as DOX-induced poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage. Furthermore, HEGU caused reductions in the viable cell numbers of HT-29 human colon cancer cells (IC50 = 10.7 +/- 0.3 mg/L), MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells (IC50 = 7.5 +/- 0.1 mg/L), and DU145 human prostate cancer cells (IC50 = 4.7 +/- 0.5 mg/L). HEGU augmented DOX-induced reductions in the viability of DU145 cells (15 +/- 1%). These results indicate that HEGU may potentially be an effective agent for the alleviation of DOX-induced cardiotoxicity.

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