Molecular mechanisms of mistletoe plant extract-induced apoptosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia in vivo and in vitro.

Department of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology, Otto-Heubner-Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.
Cancer Letters (Impact Factor: 5.02). 07/2008; 264(2):218-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.01.036
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Viscum album (Mistletoe) is one of the most widely used alternative cancer therapies. Aqueous mistletoe extracts (MT) contain the three mistletoe lectins I, II and III as one predominant group of biologically active agents. Although MT is widely used, there is a lack of scientifically sound preclinical and clinical data. In this paper, we describe for the first time the in vivo efficacy and mechanism of action of MT in lymphoblastic leukemia. For this purpose, we first investigated both the cytotoxic effect and the mechanism of action of two standardized aqueous MTs (MT obtained from fir trees (MT-A); MT obtained from pine trees (MT-P)) in a human acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell line (NALM-6). MT-A, MT-P and ML-I inhibited cell proliferation as determined by Casy Count analysis at very low concentrations with MT-P being the most cytotoxic extract. DNA-fragmentation assays indicated that dose-dependent induction of apoptosis was the main mechanism of cell death. Finally, we evaluated the efficacy of MT-A and MT-P in an in vivo SCID-model of pre-B ALL (NALM-6). Both MTs significantly improved survival (up to 55.4 days) at all tested concentrations in contrast to controls (34.6 days) without side effects.

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    ABSTRACT: Background. In Europe, mistletoe extracts are widely used as a complementary cancer therapy. We assessed the safety of subcutaneous mistletoe as a conjunctive therapy in cancer patients within an anthroposophic medicine setting in Germany. Methods. A multicentre, observational study was performed within the Network Oncology. Suspected mistletoe adverse drug reactions (ADRs) were described by frequency, causality, severity, and seriousness. Potential risk factors, dose relationships and drug-drug interactions were investigated. Results. Of 1923 cancer patients treated with subcutaneous mistletoe extracts, 283 patients (14.7%) reported 427 expected effects (local reactions <5 cm and increased body temperature <38°C). ADRs were documented in 162 (8.4%) patients who reported a total of 264 events. ADRs were mild (50.8%), moderate (45.1%), or severe (4.2%). All were nonserious. Logistic regression analysis revealed that expected effects were more common in females, while immunoreactivity decreased with increasing age and tumour stage. No risk factors were identified for ADRs. ADR frequency increased as mistletoe dose increased, while fewer ADRs occurred during mistletoe therapy received concurrent with conventional therapies. Conclusion. The results of this study indicate that mistletoe therapy is safe. ADRs were mostly mild to moderate in intensity and appear to be dose-related and explained by the immune-stimulating, pharmacological activity of mistletoe.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2014; 2014:724258. · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ferulago angulata Boiss. known in Iran as Chavir, has some bioactive compounds having antioxidant activity. Because of its antioxidant activities, it sounded Chavir extract can be a good candidate for finding chemopreventive agents having inductive apoptosis properties on cancer cells. In this study, the cytotoxic effects and proapoptotic activities of Chavir’s leaf and flower extracts were investigated on human adenocarcinoma gastric cell line (AGS). The ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay was used to determine antioxidant activity of the extract. Cytotoxic effects of the extract were performed by trypan blue and neutral red assays. For apoptosis detection, we used Annexin V staining, flow cytometry and DNA fragmentation assays. The FRAP assay results showed that antioxidant activity of leaf extract was higher than flower extract. Cytotoxicity and apoptosis–inducing activity of flower and leaf extracts changed coordinately, indicating the cytotoxicity of chavir extracts is due probably to induce apoptosis. Our results revealed that the cytotoxic effects of F. angulate Boiss. extracts on AGS cell line is close to some other plant extracts such as Rhus verniciflua Stokes (RVS) and Scutellaria litwinowii. This is the first study on cytotoxic and apoptosis–inducing effects of chavir leaf and flower extracts against AGS cell line. The Further investigation can be identification of the agent(s) by which these effects is observed.
    Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research (IJPR) 01/2014; 13(4):1335-1345. · 0.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim:Abrus agglutinin (AGG) from the seeds of Indian medicinal plant Abrus precatorius belongs to the class II ribosome inactivating protein family. In this study we investigated the anticancer effects of AGG against human hepatocellular carcinoma in vitro and in vivo.Methods:Cell proliferation, DNA fragmentation, Annexin V binding, immunocytofluorescence, Western blotting, caspase activity assays and luciferase assays were performed to evaluate AGG in human liver cancer cells HepG2. Immunohistochemical staining and TUNEL expression were studied in tumor samples of HepG2-xenografted nude mice.Results:AGG induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. AGG-treated HepG2 cells demonstrated an increase in caspase 3/7, 8 and 9 activities and a sharp decrease in the Bcl-2/Bax ratio, indicating activation of a caspase cascade. Co-treatment of HepG2 cells with AGG and a caspase inhibitor or treatment of AGG in Bax knockout HepG2 cells decreased the caspase 3/7 activity in comparison to HepG2 cells exposed only to AGG. Moreover, AGG decreased the expression of Hsp90 and suppressed Akt phosphorylation and NF-κB expression in HepG2 cells. Finally, AGG treatment significantly reduced tumor growth in nude mice bearing HepG2 xenografts, increased TUNEL expression and decreased CD-31 and Ki-67 expression compared to levels observed in the untreated control mice bearing HepG2 cells.Conclusion:AGG inhibits the growth and progression of HepG2 cells by inducing caspase-mediated cell death. The agglutinin could be an alternative natural remedy for the treatment of human hepatocellular carcinomas.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 05/2014; · 2.35 Impact Factor

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