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ABSTRACT: Cocoa tea (Camellia ptilophylla), a naturally decaffeinated tea commonly consumed as a healthy beverage in southern China, has been recently found to be a potential candidate for the treatment of different diseases, including obesity and cancers. The present study aimed to evaluate the anti-liver cancer activities of green cocoa tea infusion (GCTI) in vitro and in vivo using human hepatocarcinoma cell line HepG2 cells and nude mice xenograft model. The apoptotic activities of GCTI were assessed using flow cytometry, Western blotting and immunohistochemical analysis. Our results showed that GCTI significantly inhibited the proliferation of HepG2 cells in a dose-dependent manner (IC(50) values=292 μg/ml at 72 h). GCTI induced HepG2 cells to undergo apoptosis, which was demonstrated by cell cycle analysis and annexin-V and propidium iodide staining. The caspase cascade was activated as shown by significant proteolytic cleavage of caspase-3 and PARP in GCTI-treated cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In addition, GCTI increased the expression of cell cycle inhibitory proteins (p21, p27 and p53) and the Bax-to-Bcl-2 ratio to induce apoptosis. The antiproliferative effect of GCTI was confirmed in HepG2 xenograft nude mice. The tumor growth was effectively inhibited by GCTI in a dose-dependent manner as indicated by the decrease in tumor volume and tumor weight after 4 weeks of treatment. Administration of GCTI increased terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling and caspase-3-positive cells in the tumor section. In conclusion, these results revealed that GCTI may be a potential and promising agent of natural resource to treat liver cancer.
The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 10/2011; 23(9):1051-7. · 4.29 Impact Factor