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51,560 Abstracts & Growing Daily. Sourced from the US National Library of Medicine.


Quercetin increased the cellular absorption of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) four-fold in A549 cells with a decreased methylation rate from 63 to 19%.

The extensive methylation of green tea polyphenols (GTPs) in vivo may limit their chemopreventive potential. We investigated whether quercetin, a natural inhibitor of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and multidrug resistance proteins (MRPs), will differentially increase the intracellular concentration and decrease the methylation of GTPs in different cancer cell lines. Intrinsic COMT activity was lowest in lung cancer A549 cells, intermediate in kidney 786-O cells and highest in liver HepG2 cells. Quercetin increased the cellular absorption of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) four-fold in A549 cells with a decreased methylation rate from 63 to 19%, 2-fold in 786-O cells with a decreased methylation from 97% to 56%, while no significant effect was observed in HepG2 cells. The combination significantly decreased the activity and protein expression of COMT and decreased the protein expression of MRP1 compared to individual treatments. The combination exhibited the strongest increase in antiproliferation in A549 cells, an intermediate effect in 786-O cells and lowest effect in HepG2 cells. The effect of quercetin on bioavailability and metabolism of GTPs was confirmed in vivo. Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice were administered brewed green tea (GT) and a diet supplemented with 0.4% quercetin alone or in combination for 2 weeks. We observed a 2- to 3-fold increase of total and non-methylated EGCG in lung and kidney and an increasing trend in liver. In summary, combining quercetin with GT provides a promising approach to enhance the chemoprevention of GT. Responses of different cancers to the combination may vary by tissue depending on the intrinsic COMT and MRP activity.

Food Funct. 2012 Jun ;3(6):635-42. PMID: 22438067


Combining green tea polyphenols and quercetin significantly enhanced the antiproliferative and proapoptotic effect in vivo.

The chemopreventive activity of green tea (GT) is limited by the low bioavailability and extensive methylation of GT polyphenols (GTPs) in vivo. We determined whether a methylation inhibitor quercetin (Q) will enhance the chemoprevention of prostate cancer in vivo. Androgen-sensitive LAPC-4 prostate cancer cells were injected subcutaneously into severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice one week before the intervention. The concentration of GTPs in brewed tea administered as drinking water was 0.07% and Q was supplemented in diet at 0.2% or 0.4%. After 6-weeks of intervention tumor growth was inhibited by 3% (0.2% Q), 15% (0.4% Q), 21% (GT), 28% (GT+0.2% Q) and 45% (GT+0.4% Q) compared to control. The concentration of non-methylated GTPs was significantly increased in tumor tissue with GT+0.4% Q treatment compared to GT alone, and was associated with a decreased protein expression of catechol-O-methyltransferase and multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP)-1. The combination treatment was also associated with a significant increase in the inhibition of proliferation, androgen receptor and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling, and stimulation of apoptosis. The combined effect of GT+0.4% Q on tumor inhibition was further confirmed in another experiment where the intervention started prior to tumor inoculation. These results provide a novel regimen by combining GT and Q to improve chemoprevention in a non-toxic manner and warrant future studies in humans.

J Nutr Biochem. 2014 Jan ;25(1):73-80. Epub 2013 Oct 10. PMID: 24314868


Theaflavin enriched black tea extracts exhibited hepatoprotective effects on experimental fibrosis.

Liver cirrhosis is responsible for hepatic fibrosis resulting in high mortality and is also a risk factor for developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the fifth most common cancer in men and the seventh in women globally. Several studies have found effective anti-cancer activities of theaflavins, the major black tea polyphenols. The objective of this study was to investigate the protective effects of theaflavin-enriched black tea extracts (TF-BTE) on hepatic fibrosis induced by dimethylnitrosamine (DMN) administration in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Treatment of SD rats with DMN (10 mg per kg bw) for 4 weeks produced inflammation and remarkable liver fibrosis assessed by serum biochemistry and histopathological examination. Fibrotic status and the activation of hepatic stellate cells were improved by oral administration of 40% theaflavins in black tea extracts (40% TF-BTE) as evidenced by histopathological examination. Oral administration of 40% TF-BTE at a low dose of 50 mg per kg bw per day and a high dose of 100 mg per kg bw per day attenuated the DMN-induced elevation of serum GOT (glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase) and GPT (glutamic pyruvic transaminase) levels and reduced necrosis, bile duct proliferation, and inflammation. Western blot analyses revealed that TF-BTE inhibited the expression of liver alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) protein. The histochemical examination showed the inhibitory effect of TF-BTE on the p-Smad3 expression. Overall, these data demonstrated that TF-BTE exhibited hepatoprotective effects on experimental fibrosis, potentially by inhibiting the TGF-β1/Smad signaling.

Food Funct. 2015 Jun 10 ;6(6):1832-40. PMID: 25927469


Hibiscus sabdariffa extract led to the reduced invasiveness of prostate cancer cells.

Hibiscus sabdariffa leaf has been previously shown to possess hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant effects, and induce tumor cell apoptosis. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the anticancer activity of H. sabdariffa leaf extract (HLE) are poorly understood. The object of the study was to examine the anti-invasive potential of HLE. First, HLE was demonstrated to be rich in polyphenols. The results of wound-healing assay and in vitro transwell assay revealed that HLE dose-dependently inhibited the migration and invasion of human prostate cancer LNCaP (lymph node carcinoma of the prostate) cells under non-cytotoxic concentrations. Our results further showed that HLE exerted an inhibitory effect on the activity and expressions of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). The HLE-inhibited MMP-9 expression appeared to be a consequence of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) inactivation because its DNA-binding activity was suppressed by HLE. Molecular data showed all these influences of HLE might be mediated via inhibition of protein kinase B (PKB, also known as Akt)/NF-kB/MMP-9 cascade pathway, as demonstrated by the transfection of Akt1 overexpression vector. Finally, the inhibitory effect of HLE was proven by its inhibition on the growth of LNCaP cells and the expressions of metastasis-related molecular proteins in vivo. These findings suggested that the inhibition of MMP-9 expression by HLE may act through the suppression of the Akt/NF-kB signaling pathway, which in turn led to the reduced invasiveness of the cancer cells.

Nutrients. 2015 ;7(7):5065-87. Epub 2015 Jun 24. PMID: 26115086


Oral administration of Hibiscus sabdariffa anthocyanins remarkably inhibited progression of NMU-induced leukemia by approximately 33% in rats.

A previous study reported that anthocyanins from roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) showed significant anticancer activity in human promyelocytic leukemia cells. To explore the antitumor effect of anthocyanin, a roselle bioactive polyphenol in a rat model of chemical-induced leukemia was assayed. Anthocyanin extract of roselle (Hibiscus anthocyanins, HAs) was supplemented in the diet (0.1 and 0.2%). This study was carried out to evaluate the protective effect of HAs on N-nitrosomethylurea (NMU)-induced leukemia of rats. The study employed male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 48), and leukemia was induced by intravenous injection of 35 mg kg(-1) body weight of NMU dissolved in physiologic saline solution. The rats were divided into four groups (n = 12): control, NMU only, and HAs groups that received different doses of HAs (0.1 and 0.2%) daily, orally, after NMU injection. After 220 days, the animals were killed, and the following parameters were assessed: morphological observation, hematology examination, histopathological assessment, and biochemical assay. When compared with the NMU-only group, HAs significantly prevented loss of organ weight and ameliorated the impairment of morphology, hematology, and histopathology. Treatment with HAs caused reduction in the levels of AST, ALT, uric acid, and MPO. Also, the results showed that oral administration of HAs (0.2%) remarkably inhibited progression of NMU-induced leukemia by approximately 33.3% in rats. This is the first report to demonstrate that the sequential administration of HAs followed by NMU resulted in an antileukemic activity in vivo.

J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Feb 19 ;62(7):1572-80. Epub 2014 Feb 6. PMID: 24471438


Treatment of HNSCC cells with combinations of CUR and RES can be more effective in inhibiting in vivo and in vitro cancer cell growth than the treatment with CUR alone.

The survival rate of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) patients has not considerably changed over the last two decades. Polyphenols inhibit the growth of cancer cells. We determined whether the combination of Resveratrol (RES) and Curcumin (CUR) enhanced their in vitro and in vivo antitumor activities on HNSCC cell lines compared to the single compounds. We provide evidence that RES potentiated the apoptotic effect and reduced the IC50 of CUR on HNSCC cell lines. The model of compounds interaction indicated the onset of an additive effect of the two compounds compared to the single treatment after decrease of their concentrations. RES+CUR compared to CUR increased the PARP-1 cleavage, the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, the inhibition of ERK1 and ERK2 phosphorylation, and the expression of LC3 II simultaneously with the formation of autophagic vacuoles. RES and CUR induced cytoplasmic NF-κB accumulation. RES+CUR administrations were safe in BALB/c mice and reduced the growth of transplanted salivary gland cancer cells (SALTO) more efficiently than CUR. Overall, combinations of CUR and RES was more effective in inhibiting in vivo and in vitro cancer growth than the treatment with CUR. Additional studies will be needed to define the therapeutic potential of these compounds in combination.

Oncotarget. 2014 Nov 15 ;5(21):10745-62. PMID: 25296980


Curcumin is a potent chemosensitizer to improve the therapeutic index of paclitaxel.

The microtubule-targeting antineoplastic agent, paclitaxel, is highly efficacious against a wide spectrum of human cancers. However, dose-limiting toxicity and development of drug resistance limit its clinical application. Development of novel strategies that overcome chemoresistance and sensitize cancer cells to paclitaxel can enhance the therapeutic effect of this drug. We have previously shown that curcumin, a natural polyphenol, enhances paclitaxel-induced cytotoxicity in vitro through downregulation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB and Akt pathways. This study was undertaken to determine whether this synergism exists in vivo and to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. Mouse cervical multistage squamous cell carcinoma model using 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC) and a xenograft model of human cervical cancer in nonobese diabetic severe combined immunodeficient (NOD-SCID) mice using HeLa cells were used to evaluate the synergism. We observed that the combined treatment of curcumin and paclitaxel induced a synergestic reduction in the tumor incidence as well as tumor volume of animals compared with the individual treatments of paclitaxel or curcumin, although curcumin alone could not induce any significant effect at the concentration used. The results suggest that a suboptimal concentration of curcumin augments the antitumor action of paclitaxel by downregulating the activation and downstream signaling of antiapoptotic factors and survival signals such as NF-κB, Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinases that have significant roles in proliferation, survival, angiogenesis and metastasis. This study revealed for the first time that 3-MC-induced tumorigenesis in mice is associated with a strong constitutive activation of NF-κB activity. Furthermore, we also observed that pre-exposure of carcinoma cells isolated from 3-MC-induced tumors to curcumin potentiates paclitaxel-induced apoptosis. Overall, the findings of this preclinical study provide a strong rationale for the validation of this combination through clinical trials. As curcumin could effectively downregulate all these survival signals induced by paclitaxel, we suggest it as a potent chemosensitizer to improve the therapeutic index of paclitaxel.

Oncogene. 2011 Jul 14 ;30(28):3139-52. Epub 2011 Feb 14. PMID: 21317920


Co-treatments with Uro-A decreased IC50 values for both 5-FU and 5'DFUR and additionally arrested the cell cycle at the G2/M phase.

Chemotherapy increases the overall survival in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) remains as a drug of first choice in CRC therapy over the last four decades. However, only 10-15% of patients with advanced CRC respond positively to 5-FU monotherapy. Therefore, new strategies to enhance the 5-FU effectiveness, overcome the tumor cell resistance and decrease the unspecific toxicity are critically needed. Urolithin A (Uro-A) is the main metabolite produced by the human gut microbiota from the dietary polyphenol ellagic acid. Uro-A targets the colonic mucosa of CRC patients, and preclinical studies have shown the anti-inflammatory and cancer chemopreventive activities of this metabolite. We evaluated here whether Uro-A, at concentrations achievable in the human colorectum, could sensitize colon cancer cells to 5-FU and 5'DFUR (a pro-drug intermediate of 5-FU). We found that both 5-FU and 5'DFUR arrested the cell cycle at the S phase by regulating cyclins A and B1 in the human colon cancer cells Caco-2, SW-480 and HT-29, and also triggered apoptosis through the activation of caspases 8 and 9. Co-treatments with Uro-A decreased IC50 values for both 5-FU and 5'DFUR and additionally arrested the cell cycle at the G2/M phase together with a slight increase in caspases 8 and 9 activation. Overall, we show that Uro-A potentiated the effects of both 5-FU and 5'DFUR on colon cancer cells. This suggests the need for lower 5-FU doses to achieve similar effects, which could reduce possible adverse effects. Further in vivo investigations are warranted to explore the possible role of Uro-A as a chemotherapy adjuvant.

Food Funct. 2015 May ;6(5):1460-9. PMID: 25857357


A methanol extract of wheat grass demonstrated antileukemic potential that might be due to the presence of flavonoids and polyphenolics in it.

OBJECTIVES: Wheat grass (Triticum aestivum) is a gift of nature given to mankind. A number of scientific research on wheatgrass establishes its anticancer and antioxidant potential. Current work was focused to determine antileukemic effect of wheat grass.MATERIALS AND METHODS: The commercial wheatgrass powder was extracted with 95% of methanol. Methanol extract of wheat grass was studied for acute oral toxicity as per revised Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines number 423. Leukemia was successfully induced in Wister rats by intravenous injection of benzene. The blood was collected and analyzed for hematological parameters. Phagocytotic activity of the extract was determined.RESULTS: Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of flavonoids, phenolics, carbohydrates, and amino acids. From acute toxicity studies, it was found that the methanol extract of wheatgrass was safe up to a dose level of 2000 mg/kg of body weight. Outcomes of hematological parameters in various experimental groups of murine model demonstrated antileukemic effect of extract. Methanol extract of wheatgrass aroused the process of phagocytosis of killed Candida albicans and also demonstrated a significant chemotactic activity at all tested concentrations.CONCLUSION: In the current work, methanol extract of wheat grass demonstrated antileukemic potential that might be due to the presence of flavonoids and polyphenolics in it. Further isolation, structural characterization of active constituents is necessary to extrapolate the mechanism of action.

Indian J Pharmacol. 2015 Jul-Aug;47(4):394-7. PMID: 26288471


Cocoa may be a potential agent in the prevention and treatment of colitis-associated cancer.

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at increased risk for developing ulcerative colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CRC). The interleukin-6 (IL-6)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-3 signaling regulates survival and proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells and play an important role in the pathogenesis of IBD and CRC. Cocoa is enriched with polyphenols that known to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antitumor activities. Here, we explored the antitumor effects and mechanisms of cocoa diet on colitis-associated cancer (CAC) using the azoxymethane/dextran sulfate sodium model, with a particular focus on whether cocoa exerts its anticancer effect through the IL-6/STAT3 pathway. We found that cocoa significantly decreased the tumor incidence and size in CAC-induced mice. In addition to inhibiting proliferation of tumor epithelial cells, cocoa suppressed colonic IL-6 expression and subsequently activation of STAT3. Thus, our findings demonstrated that cocoa diet suppresses CAC tumorigenesis, and its antitumor effect is partly mediated by limiting IL-6/STAT3 activation. In addition, cocoa induces apoptosis by increased the expressions of Bax and caspase 3 and decreased Bcl-xl. Thus, we conclude that cocoa may be a potential agent in the prevention and treatment of CAC.

J Nutr Biochem. 2015 Aug 10. Epub 2015 Aug 10. PMID: 26355019


Brazilian red propolis treatment attenuated hypertension and structural renal damage in a renal ablation model.

The pathogenic role of inflammation and oxidative stress in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is well known. Anti-inflammatories and antioxidant drugs has demonstrated significant renoprotection in experimental nephropathies. Moreover, the inclusion of natural antioxidants derived from food and herbal extracts (such as polyphenols, curcumin and lycopene) as an adjuvant therapy for slowing CKD progression has been largely tested. Brazilian propolis is a honeybee product, whose anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects have been widely shown in models of sepsis, cancer, skin irritation and liver fibrosis. Furthermore, previous studies demonstrated that this compound promotes vasodilation and reduces hypertension. However, potential renoprotective effects of propolis in CKD have never been investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a subtype of Brazilian propolis, the Red Propolis (RP), in the 5/6 renal ablation model (Nx). Adult male Wistar rats underwent Nx and were divided into untreated (Nx) and RP-treated (Nx+RP) groups, after 30 days of surgery; when rats already exhibited marked hypertension and proteinuria. Animals were observed for 90 days from the surgery day, when Nx+RP group showed significant reduction of hypertension, proteinuria, serum creatinine retention, glomerulosclerosis, renal macrophage infiltration and oxidative stress, compared to age-matched untreated Nx rats, which worsened progressively over time. In conclusion, RP treatment attenuated hypertension and structural renal damage in Nx model. Reduction of renal inflammation and oxidative stress could be a plausible mechanism to explain this renoprotection.

PLoS One. 2015 ;10(1):e0116535. Epub 2015 Jan 21. PMID: 25607548


Consumption of whole grape juice induces somewhat beneficial effects in preventing cisplatin-mediated dyspepsia

Grape skin and seeds contain large amounts of phytochemicals such as polyphenols, resveratrol, and proanthocyanidins, which possess antioxidant activities. Cisplatin is widely used in the treatment of cancer. High doses of cisplatin have also been known to produce acute adverse effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of antioxidant properties of whole grape juice (with skin and seeds) on cisplatin-induced acute gastrointestinal tract disorders and nephrotoxicity in Wistar rats. Gastric emptying is significantly increased in whole grape juice-pretreated rats when compared to cisplatin treatment alone. The expression of ghrelin mRNA of stomach is increased in rats with whole grape juice. However, pretreatment with whole grape juice did not reduce renal function markers in acute renal toxicity. No significant changes were recorded in the oxidative stress/antioxidant status parameters of any study group. In contrast, pretreatment with whole grape juice slightly improved tubular cell vacuolization, tubular dilatation, and cast formation in renal tubules. These results show that consumption of whole grape juice induces somewhat beneficial effects in preventing cisplatin-mediated dyspepsia but does not offer protection against cisplatin-induced acute renal toxicity.

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2015 Oct 1. Epub 2015 Oct 1. PMID: 26429932


dietary polyphenols play a significant role in the prevention of degenerative diseases via the improvement in colonic environment without any absorption from digestive tract.

The effects of dietary polyphenols on human health have mainly been discussed in the context of preventing degenerative diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The antioxidant properties of polyphenols have been widely studied, but it has become clear that the mechanism of action of polyphenols extends beyond the modulation of oxidative stress, as they are poorly absorbed from the digestive tract. The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of polyphenols on the colonic environment, intestinal barrier function, and gut microbiota. We demonstrated that dietary polyphenols derived from aronia, haskap, and bilberry, markedly elevated the amount of fecal mucin and immunoglobulin A (IgA) as an intestinal barrier function and ameliorated the disturbance in gut microbiota caused by a high fat diet in rats. These results suggest that dietary polyphenols play a significant role in the prevention of degenerative diseases through improvement of the colonic environment without any absorption from the digestive tract.

J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2015 Nov ;57(3):212-6. Epub 2015 Sep 29. PMID: 26566306


Curcumin could protect against the vascular side effects of methotrexate by preventing an increase in oxidative stress.

Methotrexate, an antifolate drug widely used in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and cancer, is known to cause vascular endothelial dysfunction by causing hyperhomocysteinemia, direct injury to endothelium or by increasing the oxidative stress (raising levels of 7,8-dihydrobiopterin). Curcumin is a naturally occurring polyphenol with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action and therapeutic spectra similar to that of methotrexate. This study was performed to evaluate the effects of curcumin on methotrexate induced vascular endothelial dysfunction and also compare its effect with that produced by folic acid (0.072μg·g(-1)·day(-1), p.o., 2 weeks) per se and in combination. Male Wistar rats were exposed to methotrexate (0.35 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1), i.p.) for 2 weeks to induce endothelial dysfunction. Methotrexate exposure led to shedding of endothelium, decreased vascular reactivity, increased oxidative stress, decreased serum nitrite levels, and increase in aortic collagen deposition. Curcumin (200 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) and 400 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1), p.o.) for 4 weeks prevented the increase in oxidative stress, decrease in serum nitrite, aortic collagen deposition, and also vascular reactivity. The effectswere comparable with those produced by folic acid therapy. The study shows that curcumin, when concomitantly administered with methotrexate, abrogated its vascular side effects by preventing an increase in oxidative stress and abating any reduction in physiological nitric oxide levels.

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2015 Nov 16:1-8. Epub 2015 Nov 16. PMID: 26571019


Pterostilbene decreases the antioxidant defenses of aggressive cancer cells in vivo

AIMS: Polyphenolic phytochemicals have anticancer properties. However, in mechanistic studies lack of correlation to the bioavailable concentrations is a critical issue. Some reports had suggested that these molecules down-regulate the stress response, which may affect growth and the antioxidant protection of malignant cells. Initially we studied this potential underlying mechanism using different human melanomas (with genetic backgrounds correlating with most melanomas), growing in nude mice as xenografts, and pterostilbene (Pter, a natural dimethoxylated analog of resveratrol).RESULTS: Intravenous administration of Pter decreased human melanoma growth in vivo. However Pter, at levels measured within the tumors, did not affect melanoma growth in vitro. Pter inhibited pituitary production of the adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH), decreased plasma levels of corticosterone and, thereby, down regulated the glucocorticoid receptor- and nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2)-dependent antioxidant defense system in growing melanomas. Exogenous corticosterone or genetically-induced Nrf2 overexpression in melanoma cells prevented the inhibition of tumor growth and decreased antioxidant defenses in these malignant cells. These effects and mechanisms were also found in mice bearing different human pancreatic cancers. Glutathione depletion (selected as an anti-melanoma strategy) facilitated the complete elimination by chemotherapy of melanoma cells isolated from mice treated with Pter.INNOVATION: Although bioavailability-related limitations may preclude direct anticancer effects in vivo, natural polyphenols may also interfere with the growth and defense of cancer cells by down-regulating the pituitary gland-dependent ACTH synthesis.CONCLUSIONS: Pter down-regulates glucocorticoid production, thus decreasing the glucocorticoid receptor and Nrf2-dependent signaling/transcription and the antioxidant protection of melanoma and pancreatic cancer cells.

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2015 Dec 9. Epub 2015 Dec 9. PMID: 26651028


6-Gingerol is a potent inducer of p53 reactivation in HPV positive cervical cancer cells through proteasome inhibition.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) expressing E6 and E7 oncoproteins, is known to inactivate the tumor suppressor p53 through proteasomal degradation in cervical cancers. Therefore, use of small molecules for inhibition of proteasome function and induction of p53 reactivation is a promising strategy for induction of apoptosis in cervical cancer cells. The polyphenolic alkanone, 6-Gingerol (6G), present in the pungent extracts of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) has shown potent anti-tumorigenic and pro-apoptotic activities against a variety of cancers. In this study we explored the molecular mechanism of action of 6G in human cervical cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. 6G potently inhibited proliferation of the HPV positive cervical cancer cells. 6G was found to: (i) inhibit the chymotrypsin activity of proteasomes, (ii) induce reactivation of p53, (iii) increase levels of p21, (iv) induce DNA damage and G2/M cell cycle arrest, (v) alter expression levels of p53-associated apoptotic markers like, cleaved caspase-3 and PARP, and (vi) potentiate the cytotoxicity of cisplatin. 6G treatment induced significant reduction of tumor volume, tumor weight, proteasome inhibition and p53 accumulation in HeLa xenograft tumor cells in vivo. The 6G treatment was devoid of toxic effects as it did not affect body weights, hematological and osteogenic parameters. Taken together, our data underscores the therapeutic and chemosensitizing effects of 6G in the management and treatment of cervical cancer.

Oncotarget. 2015 Nov 25. Epub 2015 Nov 25. PMID: 26621832


Seaweed polyphenols may inhibit pancreatic cancer relapse/recurrence by targeting therapy-orchestrated stem-cell signaling in residual cells.

INTRODUCTION: Therapy-associated onset of stemness-maintenance in surviving tumor-cells dictates tumor relapse/recurrence. Recently, we recognized the anti-pancreatic cancer (PC) potential of seaweed polyphenol manifolds and narrowed down three superior drug-deliverables that could serve as adjuvants and benefit PC cure. Utilizing the PC- cancer stem cells (PC-CSCs) grown ex vivo and mouse model of residual-PC, we investigated the benefits of seaweed polyphenols in regulating stemness-maintenance.METHODS: ALDH(+)CD44(+)CD24(+) PC-CSCs from Panc-1, Panc-3.27, MiaPaCa-2, or BxPC-3 cells-derived xenografts grown ex vivo were either mock-irradiated, exposed to fractionated irradiation (FIR, 2Gy/D for 5 days), treated with polyphenols (100 μg/ml) of Hormophysa triquerta (HT-EA), Spatoglossum asperum (SA-EA) or Padina tetrastromatica (PT-EA) with/without FIR were examined for cell viability, transcription of 93 stem-cell-related molecules (QPCR profiling). Polyphenol-dependent regulation of FIR-transactivated Oct4, Zic3, EIF4C, Nanog, and LIF (QPCR) and functional translation of Nanog, SOX2, and OCT3/4 (immunoblotting) were examined in Panc-1/Panc-3.27/MiaPaCa-2/BxPC-3-xenografts derived PC-CSCs. Effect of seaweed-polyphenols in the regulation of EMT (N-Cadherin), pluripotency- (SOX2, OCT3/4, Nanog) and stemness-maintenance (PI3KR1, LIF, CD44) in therapy (FIR, 2Gy/D for 5D/wk for 3-weeks) resistant residual tumors were examined by tissue microarray construction and automated immunohistochemistry.RESULTS: Ex vivo exposure of PC-CSCs to SA-EA, PT-EA and HT-EA exhibit dose-dependent inhibition of cell viability. FIR amplified the transcription of 69, 80, 74 and 77 stem-cell related genes in MiaPaCa-2-, Panc-1-, Panc-3.27- and BXPC3-established xenograft-derived ALDH(+)CD44(+)CD24(+)PC-CSCs. Treatment with SA-EA, PT-EA, or HT-EA completely suppressed FIR-activated stem-cell transcriptional machinery in ALDH(+)CD44(+)CD24(+)PC-CSCs established from MiaPaCa-2, Panc-1, Panc-3.27 and BXPC3 xenografts. QPCR validated EIF4C, OCT3/4, Nanog, LIF, and ZIC3 transcriptional profile outcomes. Nanog, Sox2, and OCT3/4 immunoblotting affirmed the PC-CSC radiosensitizing benefit of seaweed polyphenols. Residual-PC tissues microarrayed and immunostained after in vivo treatments recognized complete regulation of FIR-induced SOX2, OCT3/4, Nanog, LIF, CD44, PIK3R1, N-Cadherin, and E-Cadherin with SA-EA, PT-EA, and HT-EA.CONCLUSIONS: These data, for the first time, documented the EMT/stemness-maintenance in therapy-resistant PC-CSCs. Further, the data suggest that seaweed polyphenols may inhibit PC relapse/recurrence by targeting therapy-orchestrated stem-cell signaling in residual cells.

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2015 ;6(1):182. Epub 2015 Sep 22. PMID: 26395574


Green tea, red wine and lemon extracts reduce experimental tumor growth and cancer drug toxicity.

AIM: To evaluate antitumor effect of plant polyphenol extracts from green tea, red wine lees and/or lemon peel alone and in combination with antitumor drugs on the growth of different transplanted tumors in experimental animals.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Green tea extract (GTE) was prepared from green tea infusion. GTE-based composites of red wine (GTRW), lemon peel (GTRWL) and/or NanoGTE as well as corresponding nanocomposites were prepared. The total polyphenolics of the different GTE-based extracts ranged from 18.0% to 21.3%. The effects of GTE-based extracts were studied in sarcoma 180, Ehrlich carcinoma, B16 melanoma, Ca755 mammary carcinoma, P388 leukemia, L1210 leukemia, and Guerin carcinoma (original, cisplatin-resistant and doxorubicin-resistant variants). The extracts were administered as 0.1% solution in drinking water (0.6-1.0 mg by total polyphenolics per mouse per day and 4.0-6.3 mg per rat per day).RESULTS: Tumor growth inhibition (TGI) in mice treated with NanoGTE, cisplatin or cisplatin + NanoGTE was 27%, 55% and 78%, respectively, in Sarcoma 180%, 21%, 45% and 59%, respectively, in Ehrlich carcinoma; and 8%, 13% and 38%, respectively in B16 melanoma. Composites of NanoGTE, red wine, and lemon peel (NanoGTRWL) enhanced the antitumor effects of cyclophosphamide in mice with Ca755 mammary carcinoma. The treatment with combination of NanoGTE and inhibitors of polyamines (PA) synthesis (DFMO + MGBG) resulted in significant TGI of P388 leukemia (up to 71%) and L1210 leukemia. In rats transplanted with Guerin carcinoma (parental strain), treatment with GTRW or GTE alone resulted in 25-28% TGI vs. 55-68% TGI in cisplatin-treated animals. The inhibition observed in the case of combination of GTE or GTRW with cisplatin was additive giving 81-88% TGI. Similar effects were observed when combinations of the cytostatics with GTE (or NanoGTE) were tested against cisplatin- or doxorubicin-resistant Guerin carcinoma. Moreover, the plant extracts lowered side toxicity of the drugs. Treatment with GTE, NanoGTE, and NanoGTRW decreased the levels of malondialdehyde in heart, kidney and liver tissue of experimental animals, as well as the levels of urea and creatinine in blood serum, increased erythrocyte and platelet counts, hemoglobin content, and decreased leucocyte counts.CONCLUSION: The obtained data indicate the prospects for further development of GTE and corresponding nanocomposites as auxiliary agents in cancer chemotherapy.

Exp Oncol. 2015 Dec ;37(4):262-71. PMID: 26710838


Eruca sativa seed extract may be considered a promising natural product against breast cancer.

The effect of Eruca sativa seed extract (SE) on nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) gene expression levels was investigated in rat mammary gland carcinogenesis induced by 7,12 dimethylbenz(α)anthracene (DMBA). DMBA increased NF-κB, COX-2 and Bcl-2 gene expression levels and lipid peroxidation (LP), while, decreased glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and total antioxidant concentration (TAC) compared to the control group. After DMBA administration, SE treatment reduced NF-κB, COX-2 and Bcl-2 gene expression levels and LP. Hence, SE treatment reduced inflammation and cell proliferation, while increasing apoptosis, GST and SOD activities and TAC. Analysis revealed that SE has high concentrations of total flavonoids, triterpenoids, alkaloids and polyphenolic compounds such as gallic, chlorogenic, caffeic, 3,4-dicaffeoyl quinic, 3,5-dicaffeoyl quinic, tannic, cinnamic acids, catechin and phloridzin. These findings indicate that SE may be considered a promising natural product from cruciferous vegetables against breast cancer, especially given its high antioxidant properties.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015 ;16(18):8411-8. PMID: 26745094


Polyphenol enrichment of a blueberry preparation by fermentation increases its chemopreventive potential.

BACKGROUND: Naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds from fruits, particularly from blueberries, have been reported to be significantly involved in cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy. Biotransformation of blueberry juice by Serratia vaccinii increases its polyphenolic content and endows it with anti-inflammatory properties.METHODS: This study evaluated the effect of a polyphenol-enriched blueberry preparation (PEBP) and its non-fermented counterpart (NBJ), on mammary cancer stem cell (CSC) development in in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo settings. Effects of PEBP on cell proliferation, mobility, invasion, and mammosphere formation were measured in vitro in three cell lines: murine 4T1 and human MCF7 and MDA-MB-231. Ex vivo mammosphere formation, tumor growth and metastasis observations were carried out in a BALB/c mouse model.RESULTS: Our research revealed that PEBP influence cellular signaling cascades of breast CSCs, regulating the activity of transcription factors and, consequently, inhibiting tumor growth in vivo by decreasing metastasis and controlling PI3K/AKT, MAPK/ERK, and STAT3 pathways, central nodes in CSC inflammatory signaling. PEBP significantly inhibited cell proliferation of 4T1, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. In all cell lines, PEBP reduced mammosphere formation, cell mobility and cell migration. In vivo, PEBP significantly reduced tumor development, inhibited the formation of ex vivo mammospheres, and significantly reduced lung metastasis.CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that polyphenol enrichment of a blueberry preparation by fermentation increases its chemopreventive potential by protecting mice against tumor development, inhibiting the formation of cancer stem cells and reducing lung metastasis. Thus, PEBP may represent a novel complementary alternative medicine therapy and a source for novel therapeutic agents against breast cancer.

J Transl Med. 2016 ;14(1):13. Epub 2016 Jan 14. PMID: 26762586


Resveratrol attenuates liver fibrosis via the Akt/NF-κB pathways.

Liver fibrosis is a wound-healing response to chronic liver injury that results in the accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins. It eventually leads to cirrhosis of the liver and liver failure, and it is a critical threat to the health and lives of patients with chronic liver diseases. No effective treatment is currently available. Resveratrol is a polyphenol with antioxidant, anti‑cancer and anti‑inflammatory properties. It has been reported that resveratrol prevents liver fibrosis, possibly by inhibiting NF‑κB activation. The present study investigated the mechanisms by which resveratrol prevented liver fibrosis, focusing on the possible involvement of the NF‑κB pathway. Mice with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)‑induced liver fibrosis were treated with various concentrations of resveratrol. Serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)‑α were detected by ELISAs. Expression of α‑smooth muscle actin (α‑SMA), collagen I, inhibitor of NF‑κB (IκB) and NF‑κB were detected by western blot analysis. In addition, the present study examined the effects of resveratrol on the expression of fibrosis markers in LX‑2 cells. Western blot analysis was further used to detect the levels of Akt and phosphorylated Akt, as well as the nuclear levels of IκB, phosphorylated IκB and NF‑κB p65. The expression of α‑SMA in resveratrol‑treated LX‑2 cells was detected by immunofluorescence and flow cytometry, which demonstrated that resveratrol decreased the expression of α‑SMAin LX‑2 cells. Resveratrol also decreased CCl4‑induced upregulation of serum AST, ALT, TNF‑α, α‑SMA and collagen I. Finally, resveratrol prevented the activation of NF‑κB and Akt. The results of the present study therefore indicated that resveratrol attenuates liver fibrosis via the Akt/NF-κB pathways.

Mol Med Rep. 2016 Jan ;13(1):224-30. Epub 2015 Nov 2. PMID: 26530037


Curcumin not only inhibits tumor angiogenesis, but also suppresses the production of VEGF in response to hypoxia.

Curcumin, a natural polyphenol compound from the perennial herb Curcuma longa, has been proved to be beneficial for tumor-bearing animals through inhibiting tumor neovasculature formation, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we aim to test whether curcumin affects VEGF-VEGFR2 signaling pathway and attenuates defective hematopoiesis induced by VEGF in tumor model. We demonstrated that curcumin inhibited proliferation, migration of HUVEC under VEGF stimulation and caused HUVEC apoptosis, and blocked VEGFR2 activation and its downstream signaling pathways in vitro. Furthermore, in VEGF over-expressing tumor model, curcumin significantly inhibited the tumor growth accelerated by VEGF in a dose-dependent manner and improved anemia and extramedullary hematopoiesis in livers and spleens of tumor-bearing mice induced by tumor-derived VEGF. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that curcumin normalized vasculature structures of livers and reduced tumor microvessel density. ELISA revealed that curcumin suppressed VEGF secretion from tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo. Survival analysis showed that curcumin significantly improved survival ability of VEGF tumor-bearing mice. Taken together, these findings establish curcumin as a modulator of VEGF and VEGF-VEGFR2 signaling pathway, with potential implication for improving the quality of life of cancer patients.

Oncotarget. 2015 Aug 14 ;6(23):19469-82. PMID: 26254223


A strawberry extract had effective hypoglycemic activity against alloxan induced hyperglycemia in albino rats.

The strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) of Rosaceae family are an accomplished source of bioactive compounds such as ascorbic acid and diverse range of polyphenols including anthocyanins, phenolic acids, flavonols, ellagitannins etc. These phenolic compounds classify strawberry as an important health promoting food. Strawberries are proved to have potent antioxidant capacity in various in vitro assay systems. The in vivo beneficial effects are getting explored against various ailments including cancer, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular diseases. The present research study was designed to analyze the effect of strawberry fruit extracts (water and methanol) against alloxan induced hyperglycemia in albino rats of Wister strain. Upon alloxan (150mg/kg body weight) induction, the diabetic animals showed marked increase in the values of plasma glucose, urea, uric acid, creatinine and concomitant decrease in body weight and plasma insulin level. The oral administration of strawberry extracts for 45 days in diabetic animals reversed the biochemical changes significantly (P0.05) to near normal. Furthermore, the restoration of body weight loss was also observed. The results suggest that the strawberry extract has effective hypoglycemic activity against alloxan diabetes. The poly phenolic antioxidant contents of the strawberry fruit extracts are responsible for the observed biological effect.

Pak J Pharm Sci. 2016 Jan ;29(1):255-60. PMID: 26826817


Extracts rich in gallo- and ellagitannins act on different molecular targets in the protection against ulcerative colitis.

SCOPE: Tannin-rich fruits have been evaluated as alternative prevention strategies for colorectal cancer based on their anti-inflammatory properties. This study compared tannin-rich preparations from mango (rich in gallotannins) and pomegranate (rich in ellagitannins) in the dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis model.METHODS AND RESULTS: In rats, mango and pomegranate beverages decreased intestinal inflammation and the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in mucosa and serum. The mango beverage suppressed the ratio of phosphorylated/total protein expression of the IGF-1R-AKT/mTOR axis and down-regulated mRNA expression of Igf1, Insr, and pik3cv. Pomegranate decreased p70S6K and RPS6, as well as Rps6ka2, Map2k2, and Mapk1 mRNA. In silico modeling indicated a high binding-docked of gallic acid to the catalytic domain of IGF-1R, which may suppress the activity of the enzyme. Ellagic acid docked effectively into the catalytic domains of both IGF-1R and EGFR. In vitro assays with lipopolysaccharide-treated CCD-18Co cells using polyphenolic extracts from each beverage, as well as pure compounds, corroborated the predictions made in silico.CONCLUSION: Mango polyphenols inhibited the IGF-1R- AKT/mTOR axis, and pomegranate polyphenols downregulate the mTOR downstream pathway through reductions in ERK1/2. These results suggest that extracts rich in gallo- and ellagitannins act on different molecular targets in the protection against ulcerative colitis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Mar 29. Epub 2016 Mar 29. PMID: 27028006


EGCG modulates the reversal of gene silencing involved in colon carcinogenesis.

Silencing of regulatory genes through hypermethylation of CpG islands is an important mechanism in tumorigenesis. In colon cancer, RXRα, an important dimerization partner with other nuclear transcription factors, is silenced through this mechanism. We previously found that colon tumors in ApcMin/+ mice had diminished levels of RXRα protein and expression levels of this gene were restored by treatment with a green tea intervention, due to reduced promoter methylation of RXRα. We hypothesized that CIMP+ cell lines, which epigenetically silence key regulatory genes would also evidence silencing of RXRα and EGCG treatment would restore its expression. We indeed found EGCG to restore RXRα activity levels in the human cell lines, in a dose dependent manner and reduced RXRα promoter methylation. EGCG induced methylation changes in several other colon cancer related genes but did not cause a decrease in global methylation. Numerous epidemiological reports have shown the benefits of green tea consumption in reducing coloncancer risk but to date no studies have shown that the risk reduction may be related to the epigenetic restoration by tea polyphenols. Our results show that EGCG modulates the reversal of gene silencing involved in colon carcinogenesis providing a possible avenue for colon cancer prevention and treatment.

Oncotarget. 2016 May 6. Epub 2016 May 6. PMID: 27167203


Green tea and quercetin could enhance the therapeutic effect of Doc in a less-toxic manner.

BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy with docetaxel (Doc) remains the standard treatment for metastatic and castration-resistance prostate cancer (CRPC). However, the clinical success of Doc is limited by its chemoresistance and side effects. This study investigated whether natural products green tea (GT) and quercetin (Q) enhance the therapeutic efficacy of Doc in CRPC in mouse models.METHODS: Male severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice (n = 10 per group) were inoculated with androgen-independent prostate cancer PC-3 cells subcutaneously. When tumors were established the intervention started. Mice were administered with GT + Q, Doc 5 mg/kg (LD), GT + Q + LD Doc, Doc 10 mg/kg (HD) or control. The concentration of GTpolyphenols in brewed tea administered as drinking water was 0.07 % and Q was supplemented in diet at 0.4 %. Doc was intravenously injected weekly for 4 weeks, GT and Q given throughout the study.RESULTS: GT + Q or LD Doc slightly inhibited tumor growth compared to control. However, the combination of GT and Q with LD Doc significantly enhanced the potency of Doc 2-fold and reduced tumor growth by 62 % compared to LD Doc in 7-weeks intervention. A decrease of Ki67 and increase of cleaved caspase 7were observed in tumors by the mixture, along with lowered blood concentrations of growth factors like VEGF and EGF. The mixture significantly elevated the levels of tumor suppressor mir15a and mir330 in tumor tissues. An increased risk of liver toxicity was only observed with HD Doc treatment.CONCLUSIONS: These results provide a promising regimen to enhance the therapeutic effect of Doc in a less toxic manner.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016 ;35(1):73. Epub 2016 May 6. PMID: 27151407


Eastern prickly pear extract may be a promising candidate for treating human cervical carcinoma.

In this study, we found that the total polyphenol and ascorbic acid levels in the fruit of Opuntia humifusa are higher than those in other parts of the plant. We further hypothesized that antioxidants in O. humifusa might affect the growth or survival of cancer cells. Hexane extracts of seeds and ethyl acetate extracts of fruits and stems significantly suppressed the proliferation of HeLa cervical carcinoma cells, but did not affect the proliferation of normal human BJ fibroblasts. Additionally, the extracts of O. humifusa induced G1 phase arrest in HeLa cells. The O. humifusa extracts reduced the levels of G1 phase-associated cyclin D1, cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (Cdk4), and phosphorylated retinoblastoma proteins. Moreover, p21(WAF1/Cip1) and p53 expression significantly increased after treatment. We examined the effects of ethyl acetate extracts of O. humifusa fruit (OHF) on HeLa cells xenograft tumor growth. OHF treatment significantly reduced tumor volume and this decrease was correlated with decreased Cdk4 and cyclin D1 expression. Furthermore, flavonoids, trans Taxifolin, and dihydrokaempferol, were isolated from OHF. Thus, this extract may be a promising candidate for treating human cervical carcinoma.

J Med Food. 2015 Jan ;18(1):31-44. PMID: 25379883


EGCG significantly inhibited gastric tumour growth in vivo by inhibiting Wnt/β-catenin signalling.

(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major polyphenol in green tea, could affect carcinogenesis and development of many cancers. However, the effects and underlying mechanisms of EGCG on gastric cancer remain unclear. We found that EGCG significantly inhibited proliferation and increased apoptosis of SGC-7901 cells in vitro. The decreased expressions of p-β-catenin(Ser552), p-GSK3β(S9) and β-catenin target genes were detected in SGC-7901 cells after treated by EGCG. XAV939 and β-catenin plasmid were further used to demonstrate the inhibition of EGCG on canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Moreover, EGCG significantly inhibited gastric tumour growth in vivo by inhibiting Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Taken together, our findings establish that EGCG suppressed gastric cancer cell proliferation and demonstrate that this inhibitory effect is related to canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. This study raises a new insight into gastric cancer prevention and therapy, and provides evidence that green tea could be used as a nutraceutical beverage.

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Jun 24:1-10. Epub 2016 Jun 24. PMID: 27338284


Administration of quercetin at 15mg/kg body weight resulted in a ~70% reduction in tumor growth.

The Akt/adenosine monophosphate protein kinase (AMPK)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway has emerged as a critical signaling nexus for regulating cellular metabolism, energy homeostasis, and cell growth. Thus, dysregulation of this pathway contributes to the development of metabolic disorders such as obesity, type 2diabetes, and cancer. We previously reported that a combination of grape polyphenols (resveratrol, quercetin and catechin: RQC), at equimolar concentrations, reduces breast cancer (BC) growth and metastasis in nude mice, and inhibits Akt and mTOR activities and activates AMPK, an endogenous inhibitor of mTOR, in metastatic BC cells. The objective of the present study was to determine the contribution of individual polyphenols to the effect of combined RQC on mTOR signaling. Metastatic BC cells were treated with RQC individually or in combination, at various concentrations, and the activities (phosphorylation) of AMPK, Akt, and the mTOR downstream effectors, p70S6 kinase (p70S6K) and 4E binding protein (4EBP1), were determined by Western blot. Results show that quercetin was the most effective compound for Akt/mTOR inhibition. Treatment with quercetin at 15μM had a similar effect as the RQC combination in the inhibition of BC cell proliferation, apoptosis, and migration. However, cell cycle analysis showed that the RQC treatment arrested BC cells in the G1 phase, while quercetin arrested the cell cycle in G2/M. In vivo experiments, using SCID mice with implanted tumors from metastatic BC cells, demonstrated that administration of quercetin at 15mg/kg body weight resulted in a ~70% reduction in tumor growth. In conclusion, quercetin appears to be a viable grape polyphenol for future development as an anti BC therapeutic.

PLoS One. 2016 ;11(6):e0157251. Epub 2016 Jun 10. PMID: 27285995


Continuous exposure of pancreatic cancer cells to dietary bioactive agents does not induce drug resistance unlike chemotherapy.

The repeated treatment of cancer cells with chemo- or radiotherapy induces therapy resistance, but it was previously unknown whether the same effect occurs upon continuous exposure of cancer cells to diet-derived chemopreventive agents. We elucidated this interesting question in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, which is a highly aggressive cancer entity with a marked resistance toward gemcitabine and other cytotoxic drugs. The isothiocyanate sulforaphane, present in cruciferous vegetables, and the polyphenol quercetin, present in many fruits and vegetables induced apoptosis and reduced viability in gemcitabine-sensitive BxPC-3 cells but not in non-malignant ductal pancreas cells and mesenchymal stromal cells. In turn, BxPC-3 cells were treated with increasing concentrations of gemcitabine, sulforaphane or quercetin for more than 1 year and the surviving subclones Bx-GEM, Bx-SF and Bx-Q were selected, respectively. While Bx-GEM cells acquired a total resistance, Bx-SF or Bx-Q cells largely kept their sensitivity as proved by MTT assay, annexin staining and FACS analysis. The evaluation of the self-renewal-, differentiation- and migration-potential by colony formation, differentiation or migration assays demonstrated that cancer stem cell features were enriched in gemcitabine-resistant cells, but decreased in sulforaphane- and quercetin-long time-treated cells. These results were confirmed by orthotopic xenotransplantation of cancer cells to the mouse pancreas, where Bx-GEM formed large, Bx-Q small and Bx-SF cells almost undetectable tumors. An mRNA expression profiling array and subsequent gene set enrichment analysis and qRT-PCR confirmed that tumor progression markers were enriched in Bx-GEM, but reduced in Bx-SF and Bx-Q cells. This study demonstrates that the continuous exposure of pancreatic cancer cells to sulforaphane or quercetin does not induce resistance in surviving cells but reduces tumorigenicity by inhibition of tumor progression markers. These results highlight that cancer cells may not adapt to the preventive and therapeutic effects of a regular fruit- and vegetable-based diet.

Cell Death Dis. 2016 ;7(6):e2246. Epub 2016 Jun 2. PMID: 27253410


ECG may be used as an anti-invasion agent for the adjuvant treatment and metastasis control of human lung cancer cells.

Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion potential have been considered as essential factors in cancer metastasis, which is the major cause of cancer death. EMT is a multi-step process that involves gain invasion, cytoskeleton change, cell adhesion, and proteolytic extracellular matrix degradation. Epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), which is a natural polyphenolic component of green tea, elicits several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the effects of ECG on cancer invasion and EMT of human lung carcinoma remain unknown. We provided molecular evidence supporting the anti-metastatic effect of ECG. This compound suppressed the invasion (P < 0.001) of highly metastatic A549 cells by reducing the activities of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (P < 0.001) and urokinasetype plasminogen activator (P < 0.001). ECG also reversed the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1-induced EMT and upregulated epithelial markers, such as E-cadherin. Conversely, ECG inhibited mesenchymal markers, such as fibronectin and p-FAK. The subcutaneous inoculation of this compound also inhibited the tumor growth of theA549 cells in vivo. Therefore, ECG may be used as an anti-cancer and anti-invasion agent for the adjuvant treatment and metastasis control of human lung cancer cells. ECG may also be administered as an effective chemopreventive agent against TGF-β1-induced EMT.

Food Chem Toxicol. 2016 Aug ;94:1-10. Epub 2016 May 17. PMID: 27224248


Intra-tumoral injection of TriCurin significantly inhibited tumor growth by 85.5%.

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most prevalent cancer worldwide with about 600,000 new cases diagnosed in the last year. The incidence of human papillomavirus-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HPV-positive HNSCC) has rapidly increased over the past 30 years prompting the suggestion that an epidemic may be on the horizon. Therefore, there is a clinical need to develop alternate therapeutic strategies to manage the growing number of HPV-positive HNSCC patients. TriCurin is a composition of three food-derived polyphenols in unique stoichiometric proportions consisting of curcumin from the spice turmeric, resveratrol from red grapes, and epicatechin gallate from green tea. Cell viability, clonogenic survival, and tumorsphere formation were inhibited and significant apoptosis was induced by TriCurin in UMSCC47 and UPCI:SCC090 HPV-positive HNSCC cells. Moreover, TriCurin decreased HPV16E6 and HPV16E7 and increased p53 levels. In a pre-clinical animal model of HPV-positive HNSCC, intra-tumoral injection of TriCurin significantly inhibited tumor growth by 85.5% compared to vehicle group (P

Oncotarget. 2016 Jul 16. Epub 2016 Jul 16. PMID: 27437871


This research confirms the potential role of resveratrol in the treatment of renal diseases.

Obesity-related renal diseases have been a worldwide issue. Effective strategy that prevents high fat-diet induced renal damage is of great significance. Resveratrol, a natural plant polyphenol, is famous for its antioxidant activity, cardioprotective effects and anticancer properties. However whether resveratrol can play a role in the treatment of renal diseases is unknown. In this study, we added resveratrol in normal glucose or high glucose medium and provide evidences that resveratrol protects against high-glucose triggered oxidative stress and cell senescence. Moreover, mice were fed with standard diet, standard diet plus resveratrol, high-fat diet or high-fat diet plus resveratrol for 3 months, and results show that resveratrol treatment prevents high-fat diet induced renal pathological damage by activating SIRT1, a key member in the mammalian sirtuin family that response to calorie restriction life-extension method. This research confirms the potential role of resveratrol in the treatment of renal diseases and may provide an effective and convenient method to mimic the beneficial effects of calorie restriction.

Biol Pharm Bull. 2016 ;39(9):1448-54. PMID: 27582325


Ingestion of pomegranate polyphenols is associated with inhibition of x-ray-induced genomic instability and elevated GSH.

Ionizing radiation (IR) is a well-documented human carcinogen. The increased use of IR in medical procedures has doubled the annual radiation dose and may increase cancer risk. Genomic instability is an intermediate lesion in IR-induced cancer. We examined whether pomegranate extract (PE) suppresses genomic instability induced by x-rays. Mice were treated orally with PE and exposed to an x-ray dose of 2 Gy. PE intake suppressed x-ray-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in peripheral blood and chromosomal damage in bone marrow. We hypothesized that PE-mediated protection against x-ray-induced damage may be due to the upregulation of DSB repair and antioxidant enzymes and/or increase in glutathione (GSH) levels. We found that expression of DSB repair genes was not altered (Nbs1 and Rad50) or was reduced (Mre11, DNA-PKcs, Ku80, Rad51, Rad52 and Brca2) in the liver of PE-treated mice. Likewise, mRNA levels of antioxidant enzymes were reduced (Gpx1, Cat, and Sod2) or were not altered (HO-1 and Sod1) as a function of PE treatment. In contrast, PE-treated mice with and without IR exposure displayed higher hepatic GSH concentrations than controls. Thus, ingestion of pomegranate polyphenols is associated with inhibition of x-ray-induced genomic instability and elevated GSH, which may reduce cancer risk.

Nutr Cancer. 2016 Sep 27:1-8. Epub 2016 Aug 27. PMID: 27673354


Quercetin and resveratrol incorporated in liposomes may be of value in the treatment of pre-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions.

The present investigation reports the development of liposomes for the co-delivery of naturally occurring polyphenols, namely quercetin and resveratrol. Small, spherical, uni/bilamellar vesicles were produced, as demonstrated by light scattering, cryo-TEM, SAXS. The incorporation of quercetin and resveratrol in liposomes did not affect their intrinsic antioxidant activity, as DPPH radical was almost completely inhibited. The cellular uptake of the polyphenols was higher when they were formulated in liposomes, and especially when co-loaded rather than as single agents, which resulted in a superior ability to scavenge ROS in fibroblasts. The in vivo efficacy of the polyphenols in liposomes was assessed in a mouse model of skin lesion. The topical administration of liposomes led to a remarkable amelioration of the tissue damage, with a significant reduction of oedema and leukocyte infiltration. Therefore, the proposed approach based on polyphenol vesicular formulation may be of value in the treatment of inflammation/oxidative stress associated with pre-cancerous/cancerous skin lesions.

Int J Pharm. 2016 Nov 20 ;513(1-2):153-163. Epub 2016 Aug 5. PMID: 27609664


Treatment with mulberry leaf extract partially protected the livers of rats from NDEA-induced hepatocarcinogenesis.

BACKGROUND/AIM: The leaves of white mulberry (Morus alba L.) contain various polyphenolic compounds possessing strong antioxidant activity and anticancer potential. This study was designed to investigate the chemopreventive effect of aqueous extract of mulberry leaves against N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA)-induced liver carcinogenesis.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Wistar rats were divided into four groups: control, mulberry extract-treated, NDEA-treated, and mulberry extract plus NDEA-treated. Mulberry extract was given in the diet (1,000 mg/kg b.w./day); NDEA was given in drinking water.RESULTS: Mulberry extract reduced the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma, dysplastic nodules, lipid peroxidation, protein carbonyl formation, and DNA degradation. Treatment with mulberry leaf extract along with NDEA challenge did not affect the activity of antioxidant enzymes and glutathione content.CONCLUSION: Treatment with mulberry leaf extract partially protected the livers of rats from NDEA-induced hepatocarcinogenesis and a direct antioxidant mechanism appears to contribute to its anticarcinogenic activity.

In Vivo. 2016 11-12;30(6):807-812. PMID: 27815465


These results suggest that ellagic acid may have a potential role as an adjunct therapy for bladder cancer.

Ellagic acid (EA) is a polyphenolic compound that can be found as a naturally occurring hydrolysis product of ellagitannins in pomegranates, berries, grapes, green tea and nuts. Previous studies have reported the antitumor properties of EA mainly using in vitro models. No data are available about EA influence on bladder cancer cell invasion of the extracellular matrix triggered by vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), an angiogenic factor associated with disease progression and recurrence, and tumor growth in vivo. In this study, we have investigated EA activity against four different human bladder cancer cell lines (i.e., T24, UM-UC-3, 5637 and HT-1376) by in vitro proliferation tests (measuring metabolic and foci forming activity), invasion and chemotactic assays in response to VEGF-A and in vivo preclinical models in nude mice. Results indicate that EA exerts anti-proliferative effects as a single agent and enhances the antitumor activity of mitomycin C, which is commonly used for the treatment of bladder cancer. EA also inhibits tumor invasion and chemotaxis, specifically induced by VEGF-A, and reduces VEGFR-2 expression. Moreover, EA down-regulates the expression of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1), an immune checkpoint involved in immune escape. EA in vitro activity was confirmed by the results of in vivo studies showing a significant reduction of the growth rate, infiltrative behavior and tumor-associated angiogenesis of human bladder cancer xenografts. In conclusion, these results suggest that EA may have a potential role as an adjunct therapy for bladder cancer.

Nutrients. 2016 Nov 22 ;8(11). Epub 2016 Nov 22. PMID: 27879653


Mango polyphenols and their major microbial metabolite, pyrogallol, inhibit proliferation of breast cancer cells.

The objective of this study was to assess the underlying mechanisms of mango polyphenol decreased cell proliferation and tumor volume in ductal carcinoma in situ breast cancer. We hypothesized that mango polyphenols suppress signaling along the AKT/mTOR axis while up-regulating AMPK. To test this hypothesis, mango polyphenols (0.8 mg gallic acid equivalents per day) and pyrogallol (0.2 mg/day) were administered for 4 weeks to mice xenografted with cells subcutaneously (n=10 per group). Tumor volumes were significantly decreased, both mango and pyrogallol groups displayed greater than 50% decreased volume compared to control. There was a significant reduction of phosphorylated protein levels of IR, IRS1, IGF-1R, and mTOR by mango; while pyrogallol significantly reduced the phosphorylation levels of IR, IRS1, IGF-1R, p70S6K, and ERK. The protein levels of Sestrin2, which is involved in AMPK-signaling, were significantly elevated in both groups. Also, mango significantly elevated AMPK phosphorylation and pyrogallol significantly elevated LKB1 protein levels. In an in vitro model, mango and pyrogallol increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and arrested cells in S phase. In silico modeling indicates that pyrogallol has the potential to bind directly to the allosteric binding site of AMPK, inducing activation. When AMPK expression was down-regulated using siRNA in vitro, pyrogallol reversed the reduced expression of AMPK. This indicates that pyrogallol not only activates AMPK, but also increases constitutive protein expression. These results suggest that mango polyphenols and their major microbial metabolite, pyrogallol, inhibit proliferation of breast cancer cells through ROS-dependent up-regulation of AMPK and down-regulation of the AKT/mTOR pathway.

J Nutr Biochem. 2016 Nov 15 ;41:12-19. Epub 2016 Nov 15. PMID: 27951515


Co-administration of EGCG and doxorubicin has potential as a feasible strategy to mitigate the drugs cardiotoxicity.

AIMS: (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major green tea polyphenol compound, plays an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of EGCG on doxorubicin (DOX)-induced cardiotoxicity in Sarcoma 180 (S180) tumor-bearing mice.MAIN METHODS: S180 tumor-bearing mice were established by subcutaneous inoculation of S180 cells attached to the axillary region. The extent of myocardial injury was accessed by the amount of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) released in serum. Heart tissue was morphologically studied with transmission electron microscopy. Apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔѰm) as well as calcium concentration were measured by flow cytometric analysis. Expression levels of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) were analyzed by Western blot.KEY FINDINGS: Results showed that the combination with EGCG and DOX significantly inhibited tumor growth and enhanced induction of apoptosis compared with DOX alone. Moreover, administration of EGCG could suppress DOX-induced cardiotoxicity as evidenced by alleviating LDH release and apoptosis in cardiomyocyte. EGCG-evoked cardioprotection was in association with the increase ofΔѰm and MnSOD expression. EGCG was also found to attenuate ROS generation and myocardial calcium overload in Sarcoma 180 tumor-bearing mice subjected to DOX.SIGNIFICANCE: EGCG alleviated DOX-induced cardiotoxicity possibly in part mediated by increasing of MnSOD andѰm, reducing myocardial calcium overload and subsequently attenuating the apoptosis and LDH release. Our findings suggest that co-administration of EGCG and DOX have potential as a feasible strategy to mitigate cardiotoxicity of DOX without compromising its chemotherapeutic value.

Life Sci. 2016 Dec 9. Epub 2016 Dec 9. PMID: 27956351


Pterostilbene attenuates early brain injury following subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Pterostilbene (PTE), one of the polyphenols present in plants such as blueberries and grapes, has been suggested to have various effects, such as anti-oxidation, anti-apoptosis, and anti-cancer effects. Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a severe neurological event known for its high morbidity and mortality. Recently, early brain injury (EBI) has been reported to play a significant role in the prognosis of patients with SAH. The present study aimed to investigate whether PTE could attenuate EBI after SAH was induced in C57BL/6 J mice. We also studied possible underlying mechanisms. After PTE treatment, the neurological score and brain water content of the mice were assessed. Oxidative stress and neuronal injury were also evaluated. Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3(NLRP3) inflammasome activity was assessed using western blot analysis. Our results indicated that PTE treatment reduces the SAH grade, neurological score, and brain water content following SAH. PTE treatment also reduced NLRP3 inflammasome activation. PTE alleviated the oxidative stress following SAH as evidenced by the dihydroethidium staining, superoxide dismutase activity, malondialdehyde content, 3-nitrotyrosie and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine levels, and gp91(phox) and 4-hydroxynonenal expression levels. Additionally, PTE treatment reduced neuronal apoptosis. In conclusion, our study suggests that PTE attenuates EBI following SAH possibly via the inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome and Nox2-related oxidative stress.

Mol Neurobiol. 2016 Sep 24. Epub 2016 Sep 24. PMID: 27665283


EGCG inhibited SW780 bladder cancer tumor growth by down-regulation of NF-κB and MMP-9.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the bioactive polyphenol in green tea, has been demonstrated to have various biological activities. Our study aims to investigate the antiproliferation and antimigration effects of EGCG against bladder cancer SW780 cells both in vitro and in vivo. Our results showed that treatment of EGCG resulted in significant inhibition of cell proliferation by induction of apoptosis, without obvious toxicity to normal bladder epithelium SV-HUC-1 cells. EGCG also inhibited SW780 cell migration and invasion at 25-100μM. Western blot confirmed that EGCG induced apoptosis in SW780 cells by activation of caspases-8, -9 and -3, Bax, Bcl-2 and PARP. Besides, animal study demonstrated that EGCG [100 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection daily for 3 weeks] decreased the tumor volume significantly in mice bearing SW780 tumors, as well as the tumor weight (decreased by 68.4%). In addition, EGCG down-regulated the expression of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 in both protein and mRNA level in tumor and SW780 cells. When NF-κB was inhibited, EGCG showed no obvious effect in cell proliferation and migration. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that EGCG was effective in inhibition SW780 cell proliferation and migration, and presented first evidence that EGCG inhibited SW780 tumor growth by down-regulation of NF-κB and MMP-9.

J Nutr Biochem. 2016 Dec 20 ;41:56-64. Epub 2016 Dec 20. PMID: 28040581


Rutin attenuates doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity.

Doxorubicin as anticancer agent can cause dose-dependent cardiotoxicity and heart failure in the long term. Rutin as a polyphenolic flavonoid has been illustrated to protect hearts from diverse cardiovascular diseases. Its function is known to be related to its antioxidant and antiinflammatory activity which may regulate multiple cellular signal pathways. However, the role of rutin on doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity has yet to be discovered. In this study, we explored the protective role of rutin on doxorubicin-induced heart failure and elucidated the potential mechanisms of protective effects of rutin against cardiomyocyte death. We analyzed cardiac tissues at the time point of 8weeks after doxorubicin treatment. The results by echocardiography, TUNEL staining, Masson's trichrome staining as well as Western blot analysis revealed that doxorubicin induced remarkable cardiac dysfunction and cardiotoxicity in mice hearts and cardiomyocytes, which were alleviated by rutin treatment. Western blot analysis indicated that the underlying mechanisms included inhibition excessive autophagy and apoptosis mediated by Akt activation. Collectively, our findings suggest that suppression of autophagy and apoptosis by administration of rutin could attenuate doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, which enhances our knowledge to explore new drugs and strategies for combating this devastating side effect induced by doxorubicin. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Genetic and epigenetic control of heart failure - edited by Jun Ren&Megan Yingmei Zhang.

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2017 Jan 6. Epub 2017 Jan 6. PMID: 28069395


A polyphenol-rich strawberry extract exerts important biological activities against a highly invasive breast cancer cell line.

We describe the biological effects of a polyphenol-rich strawberry extract (PRSE), obtained from the"Alba"variety, on the highly aggressive and invasive basal-like breast cancer cell line A17. Dose-response and time-course experiments showed that PRSE is able to decrease the cellular viability of A17 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. PRSE effect on cell survival was investigated in other tumor and normal cell lines of both mouse and human origin, demonstrating that PRSE is more active against breast cancer cells. Cytofluorimetric analysis of A17 cells demonstrated that sub-lethal doses of PRSE reduce the number of cells in S phase, inducing the accumulation of cells in G1 phase of cell cycle. In addition, the migration of A17 cells was studied monitoring the ability of PRSE to inhibit cellular mobility. Gene expression analysis revealed the modulation of 12 genes playing different roles in the cellular migration, adhesion and invasion processes. Finally, in vivo experiments showed the growth inhibition of A17 cells orthotopically transplanted into FVB syngeneic mice fed with PRSE. Overall, we demonstrated that PRSE exerts important biological activities against a highly invasive breast cancer cell line both in vitro and in vivo suggesting the strawberry extracts as preventive/curative food strategy.

Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 8 ;6:30917. Epub 2016 Aug 8. PMID: 27498973


Oligonol may act as an anti-aging molecule by modulating SIRT1/autophagy/AMPK pathways.

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Oligonol, mainly found in lychee fruit, is an antioxidant polyphenolic compound which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. The detailed mechanisms by which oligonol may act as an anti-aging molecule have not been determined.MATERIALS/METHODS: In this study, we evaluated the ability of oligonol to modulate sirtuin (SIRT) expression in human lung epithelial (A549) cells. Oligonol was added to A549 cells and reactive oxygen species production, mitochondrial superoxide formation, and p21 protein levels were measured. Signaling pathways activated upon oligonol treatment were also determined by western blotting. Furthermore, the anti-aging effect of oligonol was evaluated ex vivo in mouse splenocytes and in vivo in Caenorhabditis elegans.RESULTS: Oligonol specifically induced the expression of SIRT1, whose activity is linked to gene expression, metabolic control, and healthy aging. In response to influenza virus infection of A549 cells, oligonol treatment significantly up-regulated SIRT1 expression and down-regulated viral hemagglutinin expression. Oligonol treatment also resulted in the activation of autophagy pathways and the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Furthermore, oligonol-treated spleen lymphocytes from old mice showed increased cell proliferation, and mRNA levels of SIRT1 in the lungs of old mice were significantly lower than those in the lungs of young mice. Additionally, in vivo lethality assay revealed that oligonol extended the lifespan of C. elegans infected with lethal Vibrio cholerae.CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrated that oligonol may act as an anti-aging molecule by modulating SIRT1/autophagy/AMPK pathways.

Nutr Res Pract. 2016 Feb ;10(1):3-10. Epub 2016 Jan 8. PMID: 26865910


EGCG inhibits arsenic-induced inflammation and apoptosis through suppression of oxidative stress in mice.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Exposure to arsenic in individuals has been found to be associated with various health-related problems including skin lesions, cancer, and cardiovascular and immunological disorders. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the main and active polyphenolic catechin present in green tea, has shown potent antioxidant, anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory activity in vivo and in vitro. Thus, the present study was conducted to investigate the protective effects of EGCG against arsenic-induced inflammation and immunotoxicity in mice.METHODS: Serum IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α were determined by ELISA, tissue catalase (CAT), malonyldialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH), nitric oxide and caspase 3 by commercial kits, mitochondrial membrane potential with Rh 123, mitochondrial ROS with 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA), apoptotic and necrotic cells and T-cell phenotyping with Flow cytometry analysis.RESULTS: The results showed that arsenic treatment significantly increased oxidative stress levels (as indicated by catalase, malonyldialdehyde, superoxide dismutase, glutathione and reactive oxygen species), increased levels of inflammatory cytokines and promoted apoptosis. Arsenic exposure increased the relative frequency of the CD8+(Tc) cell subpopulation (from 2.8 to 18.9%) and decreased the frequency of CD4+(Th) cells (from 5.2 to 2.7%). Arsenic exposure also significantly decreased the frequency of T(CD3) (from 32.5% to 19.2%) and B(CD19) cells (from 55.1 to 32.5%). All of these effects induced by NaAsO2 were attenuated by EGCG.CONCLUSIONS: The present in vitro findings indicate that EGCG attenuates not only NaAsO2-induced immunosuppression but also inflammation and apoptosis.

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017 Apr 3 ;41(5):1788-1800. Epub 2017 Apr 3. PMID: 28365685


Polyphenols from oleaster leaves might have a strong potential as chemopreventive agent in colorectal cancer.

Dietary polyphenols, derived from natural products, have received a great interest for their chemopreventive properties against cancer. In this study, we investigated the effects of phenolic extract of the oleaster leaves (PEOL) on tumor growth in mouse model and on cell death in colon cancer cell lines. We assessed the effect of oleaster leaf infusion on HCT116 (human colon cancer cell line) xenograft growth in athymic nude mice. We observed that oleaster leaf polyphenol-rich infusion limited HCT116 tumor growth in vivo. Investigations of PEOL on two human CRC cell lines showed that PEOL induced apoptosis in HCT116 and HCT8 cells. We demonstrated an activation of caspase-3, -7 and -9 by PEOL and that pre-treatment with the pan-caspase inhibitor, N-benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone (z-VAD-fmk), prevented PEOL-induced cell death. We observed an involvement of the mitochondrial pathway in PEOL-induced apoptosis evidenced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, a decrease of mitochondrial membrane potential, and cytochrome c release. Increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration induced by PEOL represents the early event involved in mitochondrial dysfunction, ROS-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and apoptosis induced by PEOL, as ruthenium red, an inhibitor of mitochondrial calcium uptake inhibited apoptotic effect of PEOL, BAPTA/AM inhibited PEOL-induced ROS generation and finally, N-acetyl-L-cysteine reversed ER stress and apoptotic effect of PEOL. These results demonstrate that polyphenols from oleaster leaves might have a strong potential as chemopreventive agent in colorectal cancer.

PLoS One. 2017 ;12(2):e0170823. Epub 2017 Feb 17. PMID: 28212423


Resveratrol can elicit neuroprotective effects on rotenone-induced parkinsonism.

The aim of the present study was to investigate whether resveratrol could reduce nigral iron levels to prevent the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) of C57BL/6 mice induced by rotenone. Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder; elevated iron levels in the SN participate in neuronal death in PD. Resveratrol is a kind of polyphenolic compounds and possess antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory biological functions. Although many research groups have investigated the neuroprotective effects of resveratrol against PD, the precise mechanisms underlying its beneficial effects on dopaminergic neuron are poorly defined. In this study, rotenone-treated mice were used to examine neuroprotective roles of resveratrol in PD. Sixty-four adult C57BL/6 mice were divided into four groups: vehicle control mice, rotenone mice, resveratrol-treated rotenone mice, resveratrol mice. In the present study, we found that chronic administration of rotenone significantly induced motor coordination impairment and increased iron levels and dopaminergic neuron loss in SN in mice. Resveratrol administration significantly protected mice from rotenone-induced motor coordination impairment, elevated iron levels, and dopaminergic neuronal loss. Our results show that resveratrol can elicit neuroprotective effects on rotenone-induced parkinsonism through reducing nigral iron levels.

Neuroreport. 2017 May 3. Epub 2017 May 3. PMID: 28471847


Resveratrol may confer multi-organ protection against cyclophosphamide toxicity via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.

CONTEXT: Cyclophosphamide (CyP), an efficient anticancer drug, may damage normal human cells. Resveratrol (RES), a natural polyphenol, has a diverse pharmacological properties.OBJECTIVE: To test possible protective effect of RES on multi-organ damage caused by CyP.MATERIALS AND METHODS: RES (10 mg/kg/day) was administered orally for 8 days. In independent rat groups, CyP toxicity was induced via a single dose of 150 mg/kg i.p. 3 days before the end of experiment, with or without RES treatment.RESULTS: Compared to control, CyP caused significant increase in organ-to-body weight ratios of heart, kidney and liver, with deterioration in their functional parameters; namely serum creatine kinase, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase. CyP also caused distortion in these organs' histology, with significant tissue oxidative stress, manifested by decrease in reduced glutathione and catalase, as well as increase in malondialdehyde and nitric oxide levels. Furthermore, CyP caused multi-organ inflammatory effects as shown by increased tumor necrosis factor-α levels, as well as up-regulation of nuclear factor-κB expressions. Using RES concurrently with CyP restored heart, kidney and liver functional parameters, as well as their normal histology. RES also reversed oxidative stress, as well as inflammatory signs caused by CyP alone.CONCLUSIONS: RES may be beneficial adjuvant that confers multi-organ protection against CyP toxicity via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2017 May 2:1-8. Epub 2017 May 2. PMID: 28463035


Mulberry cyanidin-3-glucoside-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells.

Fruits of Morus alba L. (mulberry) have various bioactive compounds such as polyphenols and anthocyanins and used as a herbal medicine. However, the anti-cancer effects and molecular basis have not been elucidated. We examined the effect of the cyanidin-3-glucoside isolated from mulberry by acidified-methanol extraction on MDA-MB-453 human breast cancer cells. The results showed that treatment with the mulberry C3G increased cell death in a dose-dependent manner with alteration of apoptotic protein contents, and DNA fragmentation, suggesting that cells undergo apoptosis. Supporting the observations, treatment with the cyanidin-3-glucoside showed active apoptosis by caspase-3 cleavage and DNA fragmentation through Bcl-2 and Bax pathway. Indeed, cyanidin-3-glucoside inhibited tumor growth in MDA-MB-453 cells-inoculated nude mice. Tumor growth of xenograft nude mouse was reduced compared with the control group by the cyanidin-3-glucoside. These results show that mulberry cyanidin-3-glucoside inhibit the proliferation and growth in the in vitro and in vivo models. These data suggest that mulberry cyanidin-3-glucoside-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-453), which has a potential to perform as an anti-cancer agent.

Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2017 Mar 27. Epub 2017 Mar 27. PMID: 28356020


Oral administration of apple procyanidins inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells by inducing apoptosis through the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway.

Various epidemiologic and experimental in vivo and in vitro studies have suggested that polyphenols derived from fruits, vegetables and beverages might decrease the risk of developing lifestyle diseases, such as cardiovascular disorders and cancer. Apples are a major dietary source of polyphenols. Here we investigated the antitumor activity of apple polyphenols (APs) and procyanidins, namely condensed tannins, both in vitro and in vivo studies. APs and procyanidins inhibited the growth of transplanted B16 mouse melanoma cells and BALB-MC.E12 mouse mammary tumor cells, and increased the survival rate of the host mice-transplanted B16 cells. Among the APs, the apple procyanidins specifically, rather than other polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid, (-)-epicatechin, phloridzin and procyanidin B2, had a major effect on cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in vitro. The apple procyanidins increased mitochondrial membrane permeability and cytochrome c release from mitochondria and activated caspase-3 and caspase-9 within the tumor cells. In addition, we separated eight procyanidin fractions according to the degree of polymerization using normal-phase chromatography, and detected strong anti-tumor activity in the procyanidin pentamer and higher degree fractions. Our results indicate that the oral administration of apple procyanidins inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells by inducing apoptosis through the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway.

Carcinogenesis. 2008 Mar ;29(3):585-93. Epub 2007 Sep 7. PMID: 17827407


Curcumin exerts its in vitro anti-angiogenic and in vivo anti-tumour properties through combined PDE2 and PDE4 inhibition.

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a major role in angiogenesis by stimulating endothelial cells. Increase in cyclic AMP (cAMP) level inhibits VEGF-induced endothelial cell proliferation and migration. Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs), which specifically hydrolyse cyclic nucleotides, are critical in the regulation of this signal transduction. We have previously reported that PDE2 and PDE4 up-regulations in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) are implicated in VEGF-induced angiogenesis and that inhibition of PDE2 and PDE4 activities prevents the development of the in vitro angiogenesis by increasing cAMP level, as well as the in vivo chicken embryo angiogenesis. We have also shown that polyphenols are able to inhibit PDEs. The curcumin having anti-cancer properties, the present study investigated whether PDE2 and PDE4 inhibitors and curcumin could have similar in vivo anti-tumour properties and whether the anti-angiogenic effects of curcumin are mediated by PDEs. Both PDE2/PDE4 inhibitor association and curcumin significantly inhibited in vivo tumour growth in C57BL/6N mice. In vitro, curcumin inhibited basal and VEGF-stimulated HUVEC proliferation and migration and delayed cell cycle progression at G0/G1, similarly to the combination of selective PDE2 and PDE4 inhibitors. cAMP levels in HUVECs were significantly increased by curcumin, similarly to rolipram (PDE4 inhibitor) and BAY-60-550 (PDE2 inhibitor) association, indicating cAMP-PDE inhibitions. Moreover, curcumin was able to inhibit VEGF-induced cAMP-PDE activity without acting on cGMP-PDE activity and to modulate PDE2 and PDE4 expressions in HUVECs. The present results suggest that curcumin exerts its in vitro anti-angiogenic and in vivo anti-tumour properties through combined PDE2 and PDE4 inhibition.

Thromb Haemost. 2015 Feb ;113(2):319-28. Epub 2014 Sep 18. PMID: 25230992


Kaempferol might act as a therapeutic potential candidate for cancer metastasis.

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been regarded as major critical molecules assisting tumor cells during metastasis, for excessive ECM (ECM) degradation, and cancer cell invasion. In the present study, in vitro and in vivo assays were employed to examine the inhibitory effects of kaempferol, a natural polyphenol of flavonoid family, on tumor metastasis. Data showed that kaempferol could inhibit adhesion, migration, and invasion of MDA-MB-231 human breast carcinoma cells. Moreover, kaempferol led to the reduced activity and expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9, which were detected by gelatin zymography, real-time PCR, and western blot analysis, respectively. Further elucidation of the mechanism revealed that kaempferol treatment inhibited the activation of transcription factor activator protein-1 (AP-1) and MAPK signaling pathway. Moreover, kaempferol repressed phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA)-induced MMP-9 expression and activity through suppressing the translocation of protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ) and MAPK signaling pathway. Our results also indicated that kaempferol could block the lung metastasis of B16F10 murine melanoma cells as well as the expression of MMP-9 in vivo. Taken together, these results demonstrated that kaempferol could inhibit cancer cell invasion through blockingthe PKCδ/MAPK/AP-1 cascade and subsequent MMP-9 expression and its activity. Therefore, kaempferol might act as a therapeutic potential candidate for cancer metastasis.

Biochem Cell Biol. 2015 Feb ;93(1):16-27. Epub 2014 Sep 12. PMID: 25453494


Encapsulation of EGCG in transferrin-bearing vesicles is a promising therapeutic strategy.

AIM: The therapeutic potential of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a green tea polyphenol with anticancer properties, is limited by its inability to specifically reach tumors following intravenous administration. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a tumor-targeted vesicular formulation of EGCG would suppress the growth of A431 epidermoid carcinoma and B16-F10 melanoma in vitro and in vivo.MATERIALS & METHODS: Transferrin-bearing vesicles encapsulating EGCG were administered intravenously to mice bearing subcutaneous A431 and B16-F10 tumors.RESULTS: The intravenous administration of EGCG encapsulated in transferrin-bearing vesicles resulted in tumor suppression in 40% of A431 and B16-F10 tumors. Animal survival was improved by more than 20 days compared with controls.CONCLUSION: Encapsulation of EGCG in transferrin-bearing vesicles is a promising therapeutic strategy.

Nanomedicine (Lond). 2013 Feb ;8(2):181-92. Epub 2012 Aug 14. PMID: 22891867


Combining fisetin and ionizing radiation suppresses the growth of mammalian colorectal cancers.

Fisetin (3,7,3',4'-tetrahydroxyflavone), which belongs to the flavonoid group of polyphenols and is found in a wide range of plants, has been reported to exhibit a number of biological activities in human cancer cells, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiangiogenic, anti-invasive and antiproliferative effects. Although previous in vitro studies have shown that fisetin treatment increases the apoptotic rate and enhances the radiosensitivity of human colorectal cancer cells, the in vivo effects of fisetin on tumor growth remain unclear. In the present study a murine xenograft tumor model was employed to investigate the therapeutic effects of fisetin in combination with radiation on CT-26 colon cancer cells and human HCT116 colorectal cancer cells. This revealed that intratumoral injection of fisetin significantly suppressed the growth of CT-26 tumors compared with the untreated control group, but had little effect on the growth of HCT116 tumors. However, fisetin in combination with 2-Gy radiation enhanced tumor suppressor activity in murine colon and human colorectal xenograft tumors, as compared with 2-Gy fractionated radiation administered alone for 5 days and fisetin alone. Interestingly, fisetin downregulated the expression of the oncoprotein securin in a p53-independent manner. However, securin-null HCT116 tumors showed only moderate sensitivity to fisetin treatment, and the combination of fisetin and radiation did not significantly suppress securin-null HCT116 tumor growth compared with normal HCT116 tumors. Therefore, the role of securin in mediating the effect of fisetin on colorectal cancer growth warrants further investigation. In conclusion, the results of the current study provide important preclinical data for evaluating the efficacy of fisetin and radiation combination treatment as an adjuvant chemoradiotherapy for human colorectal cancers.

Oncol Lett. 2016 Dec ;12(6):4975-4982. Epub 2016 Nov 2. PMID: 28105204


Coupling to a cancer cell-specific antibody potentiates tumoricidal properties of curcumin.

In vitro studies have shown that curcumin, a polyphenol from the culinary component turmeric, has strong anticancer properties. However, there is no consensus on its therapeutic effect in human. Our earlier experiments involving implanted murine melanoma B16F10 cells in the neck or brain of syngeneic C57BL6 mice showed that tail vein injection of curcumin blocks formation of lesions and tumor in these mice. However, such treatment was ineffective in eliminating established tumors that already occupied≤10% of brain volume. Possible reasons include low solubility and rapid metabolism of curcumin in vivo. To increase its efficacy, we have linked curcumin through a cleavable arm to an antibody (Ab) against the melanoma surface antigen Muc18. The antibody-coupled curcumin was 230-fold more effective in eliminating B16F10 cells in vitro, and in vivo, it rapidly decimated established, B16F10-evoked brain tumors, enabling the rescued mice to live normally far beyond 90 days from implantation of cancer cells. In contrast, mice treated with Muc18 Ab alone died of brain tumor within a month. In B16F10 cells, curcumin-Ab (adduct) treatment caused a dramatic inhibition of NF-kB: a transcription factor that is constitutively activated in cancer cells. Furthermore, overexpression of NF-kB in the B16F10 cells blocked adduct-evoked stimulation of caspase-3/7 activity. Thus, by suppressing NF-kB, the curcumin adduct inhibits other downstream tumor-promoting proteins, thereby eliminating the B16F10 cells. Our study submits a novel yet generally applicable strategy of converting curcumin into a potent anticancer agent and provides a mechanistic framework for its action.

Int J Cancer. 2012 Aug 15 ;131(4):E569-78. Epub 2012 Jan 3. PMID: 21989768


Green tea prevents non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.

Excessive exposure of the skin to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the major factors for the development of skin cancers, including non-melanoma. For the last several centuries the consumption of dietary phytochemicals has been linked to numerous health benefits including the photoprotection of the skin. Green tea has been consumed as a popular beverage world-wide and skin photoprotection by green tea polyphenols (GTPs) has been widely investigated. In this article, we have discussed the recent investigations and mechanistic studies which define the potential efficacy of GTPs on the prevention of non-melanoma skin cancer. UV-induced DNA damage, particularly the formation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers, has been implicated in immunosuppression and initiation of skin cancer. Topical application or oral administration of green tea through drinking water of mice prevents UVB-induced skin tumor development, and this prevention is mediated, at least in part, through rapid repair of DNA. The DNA repair by GTPs is mediated through the induction of interleukin (IL)-12 which has been shown to have DNA repair ability. The new mechanistic investigations support and explain the anti-photocarcinogenic activity, in particular anti-non-melanoma skin cancer, of green tea and explain the benefits of green tea for human health.

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011 Apr 15 ;508(2):152-8. Epub 2010 Nov 19. PMID: 21094124


Kaempferol can safely inhibit the metastasis of the 786-O RCC cells into the lungs by about 87.4%.

Kaempferol, which is isolated from several natural plants, is a polyphenol belonging to the subgroup of flavonoids. Kaempferol exhibits various pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anticancer activities. In this study, kaempferol can significantly inhibit the invasion and migration of 786-O renal cell carcinoma (RCC) without cytotoxicity. We examined the potential mechanisms underlying its anti-invasive activities on 786-O RCC cells. Western blot was performed, and the results showed that kaempferol attenuates the manifestation of metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) protein and activity. The inhibitive effect of kaempferol on MMP-2 may be attributed to the downregulation of phosphorylation of Akt and focal adhesion kinase (FAK). By examining the SCID mice model, we found that kaempferol can safely inhibit the metastasis of the 786-O RCC cells into the lungs by about 87.4% as compared to vehicle treated control animals. In addition, the lung tumor masses of mice pretreated with 2-10 mg/kg kaempferol were reduced about twofold to fourfold. These data suggested that kaempferol can play a promising role in tumor prevention and cancer metastasis inhibition.

Int J Med Sci. 2017 ;14(10):984-993. Epub 2017 Aug 18. PMID: 28924370


Pomegranate by-products could be used in colorectal cancer chemoprevention.

SCOPE: To investigate the effect of pomegranate mesocarp, a polyphenol-rich by-product of juice production, in colorectal cancer (CRC) chemoprevention.METHODS AND RESULTS: A mesocarp decoction (PMD) was administered for 6 weeks in the diet to Pirc rats, mutated in Apc, a key-gene in CRC. Mucin Depleted Foci (MDFs), as CRC biomarkers, were reduced in PMD-fed rats compared to Controls (MDF/colon: 34±4 vs 47±3, P = 0.02). Apoptosis in MDFs from PMD-treated rats was increased compared to Controls (2.5±0.2 vs 1.6±0.2, P

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Sep 25. Epub 2017 Sep 25. PMID: 28948694


Ocimum sanctum has protective effects against smoke induced lung and neuronal tissue damage in rats.

Smoke induced oxidative stress is known to cause various cancers and associated health problems including lung cancer. Herbal extracts have been reported as antioxidant supplements which attenuate free radical induced oxidative damage of tissues, among which Ocimum sanctum has been reported as the elixir of life due to its innumerable health benefits. In the present study, we investigated the protective effect of O. sanctum against cracker smoke induced lung and brain tissue damage. The results of the study demonstrate that O. sanctum regulates the hematological and serum biochemical parameters such as RBC, WBC, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine kinase. O. sanctum supplementation inhibited oxidative stress as analyzed by SOD, CAT enzyme levels and i-NOS, HSP-70 protein expression. O. sanctum administration also regulated neurotransmitter levels, such as serotonin, dopamine, and regulated acetylcholine esterase levels which play a vital role in neuronal function. Further O. sanctum treatment also preserved the morphology of lung and brain tissues of smoke stress induced rats as observed by histopathology and transmission electron microscope analysis. The biodistribution of O. sanctum was showed its accumulation in key tissues such as kidney, liver, lungs and heart. The LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis of O. sanctum showed the presence of polyphenols, flavonoids and fatty acids which might be responsible for the observed anti-stress effects.

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Jul ;91:1-12. Epub 2017 Apr 20. PMID: 28433747


EGCG may be useful as an adjuvant therapy for bronchial asthma.

Asthma is a chronic disease associated with hyperresponsiveness, obstruction and remodeling of the airways. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has an important role in these alterations and may account for the accumulation of subepithelial mesenchymal cells, thus contributing to airway hyperresponsiveness and remodeling. Epigallo-catechin‑3‑gallate (EGCG), which is a type of polyphenol, is the most potent ingredient in green tea, and exhibits antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidative, anticancer and chemopreventive activities. Recently, numerous studies have investigated the protective effects of EGCG against asthma and other lung diseases. In the present study, the role of EGCG in ovalbumin (OVA)‑challenged asthmatic mice was determined. In addition, the inhibitory effects of EGCG against transforming growth factor (TGF)‑β1‑induced EMT and migration of 16HBE cells, and the underlying mechanisms of the phosphatidylinositol 3‑kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) signaling pathway, were investigated by immunofluorescence, Transwell, wound healing assay and western blot analysis, respectively. The results indicated that EGCG may suppress inflammation and inflammatory cell infiltration into the lungs of OVA‑challenged asthmatic mice, and may also inhibit EMT via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway throughupregulating the expression of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) in vivo and in vitro. The present study also revealed the anti‑migratory effects of EGCG in TGF‑β1‑induced 16HBE cells, thus suggesting it may reduce airway remodeling. The present study provides a novel insight into understanding the protective effects of EGCG on airway remodeling in asthma, and indicates that EGCG may be useful as an adjuvant therapy for bronchial asthma.

Int J Mol Med. 2017 Nov 28. Epub 2017 Nov 28. PMID: 29207033


Apple extracts can extend cellular lifespan by lowering the level of intracellular ROS and by the activation of cellular signalling pathways.

BACKGROUND: During the past years, a number of studies have demonstrated the positive effect of apple on ageing and different diseases such as cancer, degenerative and cardiovascular diseases. The unicellular yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae represents a simple eukaryotic model to study the effects of different compounds on lifespan. We previously demonstrated that apple extracts have anti-ageing effects in this organism because of their antioxidant properties. In particular, the effect is related to the presence in this fruit of polyphenols, which give a large contribution to the antioxidant activity of apples.METHODS: We we used a clonogenic assay to assess the viability and the resistance to oxidative stress of S. cerevisiae cells in the presence of Annurca apple extracts. The production of ROS and the aberrant morphology of nuclei were detected by cell staining with the fluorescent dies Dihydrorhodamine 123 and DAPI, respectively. Mitochondrial morphology was analyzed by following the localization of the mito-GFP protein into the mitochondrial matrix.RESULTS: In this study, we show that apple extracts can increase yeast lifespan, reduce the levels of reactive oxygen species and cell sensitivity to oxidative stress, and prevent nuclei and mitochondria fragmentation protecting cells from regulated cell death.CONCLUSIONS: In this paper, by using the yeast S. cerevisiae as a model, we have demonstrated that Annurca extracts possess antioxidant properties thanks to which the extracts can reduce the intracellular ROS levels and have anti-apoptotic functions thus prolonging cell lifespan. These results contribute to knowledge on the effects of natural compounds on ageing and support the use of yeast as a model organism for the development of simple tests to assess the effectiveness of bioactive substances from natural sources.

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Apr 5 ;17(1):200. Epub 2017 Apr 5. PMID: 28381226


Pomegranate juice supplementation significantly decreased the incidence of lung cancer.

Background: Cigarette smoke (CS) induces an oxidative stress, DNA damage, and lung cancer. Pomegranate juice (PJ) possess potent antioxidant activity attributed to its polyphenols. We investigated whether PJ supplementation would prevent the formation of lung nodules, attenuate mitotic activity, and reduce hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) expression secondary to CS exposure in an animal model.Methods: Mice were divided into: Control group, CS group, CS + PJ group, and PJ-only group. CS and CS + PJ were exposed to CS, 5 days per week, for a total of 5 months. Animals were then housed for additional four months. CS + PJ and PJ groups received PJ throughout the experiment period while others received placebo. At the end of the experiment, the incidence of lung nodules was assessed by (1) histological analysis, (2) mitotic activity [measurement of PHH3 antibodies], and (3) measurement of HIF-1α expression.Results: The incidence of lung nodules was significantly increased in CS. CS exposure significantly increased PHH3 and HIF-1α expression. PJ supplementation attenuated the formation of lung nodules and reduced PHH3 and HIF-1α expression.Conclusion: PJ supplementation significantly decreased the incidence of lung cancer, secondary to CS, prevented the formation of lung nodules, and reduced mitotic activity and HIF-1α expression in an animal model.

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017 ;2017:6063201. Epub 2017 Nov 30. PMID: 29333211


The apple polyphenol phloretin inhibits breast cancer cell migration and proliferation.

Human triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive and poorly understood subclass of breast cancer. Glucose transporters (GLUTs) are required for glucose uptake in malignant cancer cells and are ideal targets for cancer therapy. To determine whether the inhibition of GLUTs could be used in TNBC cell therapy, the apple polyphenol phloretin (Ph) was used as a specific antagonist of GLUT2 protein function in human TNBC cells. Interestingly, we found that Ph (10-150 μM, for 24 h) inhibited cell growth and arrested the cell cycle in MDA-MB-231 cells in a p53 mutant-dependent manner, which was confirmed by pre-treatment of the cells with a p53-specific dominant-negative expression vector. We also found that Ph treatment (10-150 μM, for 24 h) significantlydecreased the migratory activity of the MDA-MB-231 cells through the inhibition of paxillin/FAK, Src, and alpha smooth muscle actin (α-sMA) and through the activation of E-cadherin. Furthermore, the anti-tumorigenic effect of Ph (10, 50 mg/kg or DMSO twice a week for six weeks) was demonstratedin vivo using BALB/c nude mice bearing MDA-MB-231 tumor xenografts. A decrease in N-cadherin, vimentin and an increase in p53, p21 and E-cadherin were detected in the tumor tissues. In conclusion, inhibition of GLUT2 by the apple polyphenol Ph could potentially suppress TNBC tumor cell growth and metastasis.

J Food Drug Anal. 2018 Jan ;26(1):221-231. Epub 2017 Apr 18. PMID: 29389559


Tea polyphenols induce S phase arrest and apoptosis in gallbladder cancer cells.

Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is the most common malignancy in the biliary tract. Without effective treatment, its prognosis is notoriously poor. Tea polyphenols (TPs) have many pharmacological and health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-thrombotic, antibacterial, and vasodilatory properties. However, the anti-cancer effect of TPs in human gallbladder cancer has not yet been determined. Cell viability and colony formation assay were used to investigate the cell growth. Cell cycle and apoptosis were evaluated by flow cytometry analysis. Western blot assay was used to detect the expression of proteins related to cell cycle and apoptosis. Human tumor xenografts were used to examine the effect of TPs on gallbladder cancer cells in vivo. TPs significantly inhibited cell growth of gallbladder cancer cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Cell cycle progression in GBC cells was blocked at the S phase by TPs. TPs also induced mitochondrial-related apoptosis in GBC cells by upregulating Bax, cleaved caspase-3, and cleaved PARP expressions and downregulating Bcl-2, cyclin A, and Cdk2 expressions. The effects of TPs on GBC were further proven in vivo in a mouse xenograft model. Our study is the first to report that TPs inhibit GBC cell growth and these compounds may have potential as novel therapeutic agents for treating gallbladder cancer.

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2018 Mar 1 ;51(4):e6891. Epub 2018 Mar 1. PMID: 29513793


Long-term treatment with green tea polyphenols modifies the gut microbiome of female sprague-dawley rats.

Green tea polyphenols (GTP) have been shown to exert a spectrum of health benefits to animals and humans. It is plausible that the beneficial effects of GTP are a result of its interaction with the gut microbiota. This study evaluated the effect of long-term treatment with GTP on the gut microbiota of experimental rats and the potential linkage between changes of the gut microbiota with the beneficial effects of GTP. Six-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly allocated into three dosing regimens (0, 0.5%, and 1.5% of GTP) and followed for 6 months. At the end of month 3 or month 6, half of the animals from each group were sacrificed and their colon contents were collected for microbiome analysis using 16S ribosomal RNA and shotgun metagenomic community sequencing. GTP treatment significantly decreased the biodiversity and modified the microbial community in a dose-dependent manner; similar patterns were observed at both sampling times. Multiple operational taxonomic units and phylotypes were modified: the phylotypes Bacteroidetes and Oscillospira, previously linked to the lean phenotype in human and animal studies, were enriched; and Peptostreptococcaceae previously linked to colorectal cancer phenotype was depleted in GTP treated groups in a dose-dependent manner. Several microbial gene orthologs were modified, among which genes related to energy production and conversion were consistently enriched in samples from month 6 in a dose-dependent manner. This study showed that long-term treatment with GTP induced a dose-dependent modification of the gut microbiome in experimental rats, which might be linked to beneficial effects of GTP.

J Nutr Biochem. 2018 Jan 31 ;56:55-64. Epub 2018 Jan 31. PMID: 29454999


Curcumin, resveratrol, and EGCG, repolarizes tumor-associated macrophages and triggers an immune response to cause suppression of HPV+ tumors.

Our earlier studies reported a unique potentiated combination (TriCurin) of curcumin (C) with two other polyphenols. The TriCurin-associated C displays an IC50 in the low micromolar range for cultured HPV+ TC-1 cells. In contrast, because of rapid degradation in vivo, the TriCurin-associated C reaches only low nano-molar concentrations in the plasma, which are sub-lethal to tumor cells. Yet, injected TriCurin causes a dramatic suppression of tumors in TC-1 cell-implanted mice (TC-1 mice) and xenografts of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) cells in nude/nude mice. Here, we use the TC-1 mice to test our hypothesis that a major part of the anti-tumor activity of TriCurin is evoked by innate and adaptive immune responses. TriCurin injection repolarized arginase1(ARG1), IL10, inducible nitric oxide synthase(iNOS), IL12M2-type tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) into ARG1, IL10, iNOS, and IL12M1-type TAM in HPV+ tumors. The M1 TAM displayed sharply suppressed STAT3 and induced STAT1 and NF-kB(p65). STAT1 and NF-kB(p65) function synergistically to induce iNOS and IL12 transcription. Neutralizing IL12 signaling with an IL12 antibody abrogated TriCurin-induced intra-tumor entry of activated natural killer (NK) cells and Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), thereby confirming that IL12 triggers recruitment of NK cells and CTL. These activated NK cells and CTL join the M1 TAM to elicit apoptosis of the E6+ tumor cells. Corroboratively, neutralizing IL12 signaling partially reversed this TriCurin-mediated apoptosis. Thus, injected TriCurin elicits an M2→M1 switch in TAM, accompanied by IL12-dependent intra-tumor recruitment of NK cells and CTL and elimination of cancer cells.

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2018 Feb 16. Epub 2018 Feb 16. PMID: 29453519


Cardioprotective effect of zingerone against oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis induced by cisplatin or gamma radiation.

Despite their clinical benefits in cancer treatment, the deleterious effects on heart following chemo/radiotherapy are of increasing importance. Zingerone, a natural polyphenol, possesses multiple biological activities, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Thus, the current study was designed to assess the potential cardioprotective effects of zingerone against cisplatin orγ-radiation. Zingerone was given by intragastric intubation (25 mg/kg) daily for three successive weeks prior to the induction of cardiotoxicity using a single dose of cisplatin (20 mg/kg, i.p.) or a whole body γ-irradiation at a single dose of 6 Gy. Zingerone pre-treatment significantly reduced the abnormalities in heart histology and the increase in the cardiotoxicity indices, serum lactate dehydrogenase, and creatine kinase-MB activities, as well as plasma cardiac troponin T and B-natriuretic peptide, induced by cisplatin or γ-radiation. Further, zingerone, except for superoxide dismutase, notably ameliorated the state of oxidative stress as evidenced by a significant decrease in malondialdehyde level accompanied with a significant increase in the reduced glutathione content and catalase activity. Additionally, zingerone mitigated the increase in the inflammatory markers including serum level of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, cardiac myeloperoxidase activity, and cyclooxygenase-2 protein expression. Moreover, zingerone alleviated the elevation of caspase-3 gene expression and the prominent nuclear DNA fragmentation and attenuated the decrease in mitochondrial complexes' activities. This study sheds the light on a probable protective role of zingerone as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic agent against cisplatin- or γ-radiation-induced cardiotoxicity and holds a potential in regard to therapeutic intervention for chemo/radiotherapy mediated cardiac damage.

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2018 May 7. Epub 2018 May 7. PMID: 29736620


The current review summarizes the existing in vitro and in vivo studies examining the anti-diabetic effects of rosemary extract.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), a disease on the rise and with huge economic burden to health care systems around the globe, results from defects in insulin action (termed insulin resistance) combined with impaired insulin secretion. Current methods of prevention and treatments for insulin resistance and T2DM are lacking in number and efficacy and, therefore, there is a need for new preventative measures and targeted therapies. In recent years, chemicals found in plants/herbs have attracted attention for their use as functional foods or nutraceuticals for preventing and treating insulin resistance and T2DM. Rosemary is an evergreen shrub indigenous to the Mediterranean region and South America, which contains various polyphenols. Rosemary extract and its polyphenolic constituents have been reported to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and anti-hyperglycemic properties. The current review summarizes the existing in vitro and in vivo studies examining the anti-diabetic effects of rosemary extract and its polyphenolic components and highlights the known mechanism of action.

Nutrients. 2017 Sep 1 ;9(9). Epub 2017 Sep 1. PMID: 28862678


Chlorogenic acid has anxiolytic effects coupled with antioxidant activity.

BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress is linked to neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and to some behaviors, such as anxiety and depression. In particular, recent research observed a close relationship between oxidative stress and anxiety.METHODS: We investigated the anxiolytic effect of chlorogenic acid, a dietary antioxidant present in fruits, in mouse models of anxiety including the light/dark test, the elevated plus maze and the free exploratory test. Moreover, the antioxidative effect of chlorogenic acid on peripheral blood granulocytes was investigated.RESULTS: Chlorogenic acid (20 mg/kg) induced a decrease in anxiety-related behaviors suggesting an anxiolytic-like effect of this polyphenol. The anti-anxiety effect was blocked by flumazenil suggesting that anxiety is reduced by activation of the benzodiazepine receptor. In vitro, chlorogenic acid protected granulocytes from oxidative stress.CONCLUSIONS: Chlorogenic acid is one of the most abundant polyphenols in fruits. We demonstrated in vivo and in vitro for the first time, that chlorogenic acid has anxiolytic effects coupled with antioxidant activity. Thus, fruits such as plums (Mirabelle), apples and cherries may provide health-promoting advantages to consumers.

J Neurol Sci. 2007 Nov 15 ;262(1-2):77-84. Epub 2007 Aug 14. PMID: 17698084


The antidepressant-like effects of ferulic acid involves the serotonergic and norepinergic systems.

Ferulic acid is a polyphenol that has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. The present study analyzed the antidepressant-like potential of ferulic acid using two well-validated mouse models of despair test, tail suspension and forced swim tests. The results suggested that ferulic acid treatment at doses of 10, 20, 40 and 80 mg/kg (p.o.) significantly reduced the immobility time in both of these two tests. These doses that affected the depressive-like behaviors did now show any effect on locomotion counts. The further neurochemical assays suggested that ferulic acid increased monoamine neurotransmitter levels in the brain regions that are relative to mood disorders: the hippocampus and frontal cortex. The increased tend to serotonin and norepinephrine was also found in the hypothalamus after higher dose of ferulic acid treatment. The subsequent study suggested that monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) activity was inhibited in the frontal cortex and hippocampus when treatment with 40 and 80 mg/kg ferulic acid; while MAO-B activity did not change significantly. The current study provides the first lines of evidence that serotonin and norepinephrine, but not dopamine levels were elevated in mouse hippocampus and frontal cortex after ferulic acid treatment. These changes may be attributable to the inhibition of MAO-A activities in the same brain regions.

Metab Brain Dis. 2015 Feb ;30(1):129-36. Epub 2014 Dec 9. PMID: 25483788


Dietary ellagitannins from pomegranate could alleviate intestinal mucositis in rats induced by 5-FU.

Worldwide, colorectal cancer (CRC) is a deleterious disease causing millions of death annually. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is a first-line chemotherapy for CRC, but chemoresistance and gastrointestinal mucositis limit its efficacy. Polyphenol-rich foods are increasingly popular due to their potential beneficial role in cancer. Ellagitannins is a group of phenolic compounds commonly found in pomegranate, strawberries, raspberries, etc. The objective of this study was to explore whether ellagitannins from pomegranate (PETs) could ameliorate 5-FU-induced intestinal mucositis and enhance its efficacy against CRC. The results showed that PETs (100 mg/kg) counteracted 5-FU-induced intestinal mucositis in rats. The number of apoptotic cells per crypt was reduced from 1.50±0.21 to 0.85±0.18 (P

J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Jun 19. Epub 2018 Jun 19. PMID: 29920075


Ellagic acid protects against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats.

BACKGROUND: The anticancerdrug cisplatin (CP) causes nephrotoxicity through different mechanisms, including generation of free radicals. Ellagic acid (EA) is a polyphenolic antioxidant found in fruits and nuts.AIM: This study aimed to investigate the ability of different doses of EA to ameliorate CP nephrotoxicity in rats.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Animals were randomly divided into six groups and treated with saline; CP alone (6 mg/kg); two doses of EA, both alone (10 and 30 mg/kg) or with CP.RESULTS: Treatment with CP alone reduced body weight, water intake, urine output, and renal total antioxidant and reduced glutathione (GSH) concentrations (p

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Feb ;17(3):299-310. PMID: 23426532


Ellagic acid could exert anti-angiogenesis effects via VEGFR-2 signalling pathway in breast cancer.

Anti-angiogenesis targeting VEGFR-2 has been considered as an important strategy for cancer therapy. Ellagic acid is a naturally existing polyphenol widely found in fruits and vegetables. It was reported that ellagic acid interfered with some angiogenesis-dependent pathologies. Yet the mechanisms involved were not fully understood. Thus, we analyzed its anti-angiogenesis effects and mechanisms on human breast cancer utilizing in-vitro and in-vivo methodologies. The in-silico analysis was also carried out to further analyze the structure-based interaction between ellagic acid and VEGFR-2. We found that ellagic acid significantly inhibited a series of VEGF-induced angiogenesis processes including proliferation, migration, and tube formation of endothelial cells. Besides, it directly inhibited VEGFR-2 tyrosine kinase activity and its downstream signaling pathways including MAPK and PI3K/Akt in endothelial cells. Ellagic acid also obviously inhibited neo-vessel formation in chick chorioallantoic membrane and sprouts formation of chicken aorta. Breast cancer xenografts study also revealed that ellagic acid significantly inhibited MDA-MB-231 cancer growth and P-VEGFR2 expression. Molecular docking simulation indicated that ellagic acid could form hydrogen bonds and aromatic interactions within the ATP-binding region of the VEGFR-2 kinase unit. Taken together, ellagic acid could exert anti-angiogenesis effects via VEGFR-2 signaling pathway in breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Aug ;134(3):943-55. Epub 2012 Feb 21. PMID: 22350787


Ellagic acid attenuates bleomycin and cyclophosphamide-induced pulmonary toxicity.

Use of bleomycin (BLM) and cyclophosphamide (CP) as chemotherapeutic drugs is associated with side effects including toxicity to respiratory system. Their co-administration may enhance lung toxicity which may subsequently progress to the lung fibrosis. Natural compounds have shown mitigating effects against toxicity of anticancer drugs. Ellagic acid (EA), a polyphenolic compound present in many fruits and nuts in addition to walnut has shown promising protective effect against toxicity of drugs and chemicals. We studied the ameliorative effect of EA on lung toxicity in rats exposed to CP (150 mg/kg b.w., i.p.) and BLM (10 U/kg b.w., i.t.). EA (15 mg/kg b.w., p.o.×14 days) treatment modulated enhanced hydroxyproline level, lipid peroxidation, myeloperoxidase activity, nitric oxide production and protein carbonyl formation in lungs of rats exposed to toxic anticancer drugs. There was a marked decrease in GSH content and activities of antioxidant enzymes as aresult of BLM and CP treatment. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid showed increased level of cytotoxicity markers in drug treated animals. Treatment with EA attenuated these changes. Histopathological findings also showed protective effects of EA. In conclusion, EA emerged as a natural protectant with anability to protect lungs from onslaught of pulmonary toxicity of anticancer drugs.

Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Aug ;58:210-9. Epub 2013 Apr 17. PMID: 23603381


dietary chlorophyllin and ellagic acid that can reverse gene expression signature associated with carcinogenesis.

Chlorophyllin (CHL), a water-soluble, semi-synthetic derivative of chlorophyll and ellagic acid (EA), a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound in berries, grapes, and nuts have been reported to exert anticancer effects in various human cancer cell lines and in animal tumour models. The present study was undertaken to examine the mechanism underlying chemoprevention and changes in gene expression pattern induced by dietary supplementation of chlorophyllin and ellagic acid in the 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced hamster buccal pouch (HBP) carcinogenesis model by whole genome profiling using pangenomic microarrays. In hamsters painted with DMBA, the expression of 1,700 genes was found to be altered significantly relative to control. Dietary supplementation of chlorophyllin and ellagic acid modulated the expression profiles of 104 and 37 genes respectively. Microarray analysis also revealed changes in the expression of TGFβ receptors, NF-κB, cyclin D1, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that may play a crucial role in the transformation of the normal buccal pouch to a malignant phenotype. This gene expression signature was altered on treatment with chlorophyllin and ellagic acid. Our study has also revealed patterns of gene expression signature specific for chlorophyllin and ellagic acid exposure. Thus dietary chlorophyllin and ellagic acid that can reverse gene expression signature associated with carcinogenesis are novel candidates for cancer prevention and therapy.

PLoS One. 2012 ;7(4):e34628. Epub 2012 Apr 2. PMID: 22485181


Effect of tea polyphenol on oxidative injury in S180 cells induced hepatocarcinoma mice.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant nature of tea polyphenol on S180 cells induced liver cancer in mice. In the present study, hepatocellular carcinoma was induced by tumor transplantation of liver in situ. The antitumor activity of tea polyphenol has been determined in vivo in hepatocellular carcinoma mice after treatment of drug (50, 100, 150 mg/kg body weight) by gavage for 20 days. Results showed that a significant increase in serum aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransfere (ALT), malondialdehyde (MDA) level, decrease in serum white blood cells (WBC), serum total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), A/G, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), liver reduced glutathione (GSH) levels were observed. In addition, the levels of enzymic and non-enzymic antioxidants were decreased when subjected to S180 cells induction. These altered enzyme levels were ameliorated significantly by administration of teapolyphenol at the concentration of 50, 100, 150 mg/kg body weight in drug-treated animals. These results indicate that the protective effect of tea polyphenol was associated with inhibition of MDA induced by S180 cells and to maintain the antioxidant enzyme levels.

Int J Mol Sci. 2012 ;13(5):5571-83. Epub 2012 May 9. PMID: 22754316


These results identify gallic acid as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of keloids.

Keloids are a fibroproliferative disorder of the skin resulted from abnormal healing of injured or irritated skin and are characterized by the ability to spread beyond the original boundary of the wound. Here, we tested the effect of gallic acid (GA), a plant polyphenol with selective growth inhibitory effects in cancer, on the proliferation and invasion of keloid fibroblasts (KFs) isolated from patients undergoing surgery. GA inhibited KF proliferation, migration, and invasion in parallel with the downregulation of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and -3 and upregulation of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-1. Flow cytometric analysis showed that GA inhibited cell cycle progression and induced apoptosis. The effects of GA on KFs occurred in parallel with the inhibition of AKT and ERK1/2, suggesting that GA acts by suppressing the AKT/ERK signaling pathway. In ex vivo explant cultures of keloid tissues, GA inhibited the migration of KFs to the wound area and suppressed the expression of angiogenic markers concomitant with the inhibition of collagen deposition. These results identify GA as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of keloids and suggest a potential mechanism underlying its protective effect.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2018 Sep 27. Epub 2018 Sep 27. PMID: 30265275


This is the first report to demonstrate the in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity of sweet potato greens in prostate cancer.

Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaves or greens, extensively consumed as a vegetable in Africa and Asia, are an excellent source of dietary polyphenols such as anthocyanins and phenolic acids. Here, we show that sweet potato greens extract (SPGE) has the maximum polyphenol content compared with several commercial vegetables including spinach. The polyphenol-rich SPGE exerts significant antiproliferative activity in a panel of prostate cancer cell lines while sparing normal prostate epithelial cells. Mechanistically, SPGE perturbed cell cycle progression, reduced clonogenic survival, modulated cell cycle and apoptosis regulatory molecules and induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer PC-3 cells both in vitro and in vivo. SPGE-induced apoptosis has a mitochondrially mediated component, which was attenuated by pretreatment with cyclosporin A. We also observed alterations of apoptosis regulatory molecules such as inactivation of Bcl2, upregulation of BAX, cytochrome c release and activation of downstream apoptotic signaling. SPGE caused DNA degradation as evident by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining of increased concentration of 3'-DNA ends. Furthermore, apoptotic induction was caspase dependent as shown by cleavage of caspase substrate, poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase. Oral administration of 400 mg/kg SPGE remarkably inhibited growth and progression of prostate tumor xenografts by∼69% in nude mice, as shown by tumor volume measurements and non-invasive real-time bioluminescent imaging. Most importantly, SPGE did not cause any detectable toxicity to rapidly dividing normal tissues such as gut and bone marrow. This is the first report to demonstrate the in vitro and in vivoanticancer activity of sweet potato greens in prostate cancer.

Carcinogenesis. 2011 Dec ;32(12):1872-80. Epub 2011 Sep 26. PMID: 21948980


Dyospiros kaki phenolics inhibit colitis and colon cancer cell proliferation.

Polyphenols from persimmon (Diospyros kaki) have demonstrated radical-scavenging and antiinflammatory activities; however, little is known about the effects of persimmon phenolics on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). Therefore, we aimed in this work to characterize the antiinflammatory and antiproliferative effects of a persimmon phenolic extract (80% acetone in water), using an in vivo model of experimental colitis and a model of cancer cell invasion. Our results show, for the first time, a beneficial effect of a persimmon phenolic extract in the attenuation of experimental colitis and a potential antiproliferative effect on cultured colon cancer cells. Administration of persimmon phenolic extract to mice with TNBS-induced colitis led to a reduction in several functional and histological markers of colon inflammation, namely: attenuation of colon length decrease, reduction of the extent of visible injury (ulcer formation), decrease in diarrhea severity, reduced mortality rate, reduction of mucosal hemorrhage and reduction of general histological features of colon inflammation. In vitro studies also showed that persimmon phenolic extract successfully impaired cell proliferation and invasion in HT-29 cells. Further investigation showed a decreased expression of COX-2 and iNOS in the colonic tissue of colitis mice, two important mediators of intestinal inflammation, but there was no inhibition of the gelatinase MMP-9 and MMP-2 activities. Given the role of inflammatory processes in the progression of CRC and the important link between inflammation and cancer, our results highlight the potential of persimmon polyphenols as a pharmacological tool in the treatment of patients with IBD.

J Nutr Biochem. 2017 Aug ;46:100-108. Epub 2017 Mar 30. PMID: 28494341


Punicalagin significantly reduced glucose levels in high fat diet mice and improved HDL anti-inflammatory properties.

Polyphenols are consumed daily in the human diet and are associated with reduced risk of a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Traditionally, the health benefits of polyphenols have been attributed to their antioxidant activity, but many studies might be hampered by oral administration and insignificant bioavailability. Rather than exerting a direct antioxidant effect, the mechanisms by which polyphenols express their beneficial effect seem to involve their interaction with proteins. The present study is aimed at broadening and confirming our recently published in vitro results showing that polyphenols may reduce atherosclerosis risk via interaction with proteins and lipoproteins related to atherosclerosis. The biological functions of punicalagin and quercetin in relation to glucose and lipid levels, paraoxonase 1 (PON1) activity, and inflammation were examined in vivo. Mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks, and during the last 4 weeks, they received subcutaneous treatments via implanted minipumps, which released physiological concentrations of punicalagin, quercetin, or atorvastatin (as a positive control) daily into the serum. The HFD reduced serum PON1 activity, whereas punicalagin administration restored PON1 activity to the level of mice fed a normal diet. In addition, punicalagin significantly reduced glucose levels in HFD mice and improved HDL anti-inflammatory properties. In conclusion, beyond antioxidant activity, the mechanisms by which polyphenols exert their beneficial properties appear to involve their interaction with serum proteins that mediate HDL function and lipid-glucose state in the circulation.

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 ;2018:2673076. Epub 2018 Jul 31. PMID: 30151068


These results indicated that curcumin inhibited lung cancer growth through the regulation of angiogenesis.

Curcumin is a key polyphenolic curcuminoid extracted from the root of turmeric rhizome Curcuma longa Linn, which is a frequently used Chinese herb for the treatment of cancer. The aim of the present study was to investigate the mechanism of the inhibitory effects of curcumin on nude mice with lung cancer A549 cell subsets side population (SP) and non-SP (NSP) cells. BALB/c mice were subcutaneously injected with the tumor cells of A549 SP or NSP subsets consisting of 1×10cells/l (0.2 ml in total). After 16 days of inoculation with A549, the mice were intraperitoneally injected with curcumin (100 mg/kg, 0.2 ml) once every other day, eight times in total. A series of assays were performed to detect the effects of curcumin on: i) Tumor weight and size; ii) Notch and hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) mRNA expression by quantitative polymerase chain reaction; and iii) vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) by immunohistochemistry. It was determined that curcumin decreased the tumor weight and size, downregulated the expression of Notch and HIF-1 mRNA and suppressed the VEGF and NF-κB expression. These results indicated that curcumin inhibited lung cancer growth through the regulation ofangiogenesis mediated by VEGF signaling.

Oncol Lett. 2018 Nov ;16(5):6756-6762. Epub 2018 Sep 24. PMID: 30405819


The potency of drug Naringenin was confirmed by treating along with opioid inhibitors naloxone and the results compared with standard drugs.

Inflammation is the vital defensive response triggered by our immune system against an infection or deleterious stimuli. This response in due course affects its own biological system leading to serious diseases like arteriosclerosis, osteoporosis, pancreatitis, cancer etc. Currently, researchers focused on utilizing phytochemicals as anti-inflammatory drugs since the drugs presently available in the market causes serious side effects and are less potent. Flavonoids are polyphenols which imparts colours to the plants and fruits. These flavonoids serve as phytonutrients to plants and they also possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Naringenin is one such flavonoid classified under flavones groups present in citrus fruits and vegetables. The present study is aimed to identify and confirm the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory efficacy of Naringenin in different mice models. The antinociceptive effect of Naringenin was analyzed by both thermal induced and chemical induced nociceptive mice models. Carrageenan-induced paw edema test was performed to detect the anti-inflammatory effect of Naringenin and it is confirmed by analyzing the leukocyte infiltration in peritoneal cavity. Air pouch model test is performed to estimate the inhibitory property of Naringenin against proinflammatory cytokines. The potency of drug Naringenin was confirmed by treating along with opioid inhibitors naloxone and the results compared with standard drugs. To assess the muscle relaxant property of Naringenin open field test was performed. The overall results of Naringenin in different nociceptive and inflammatory mice models suggest that, Naringenin is a potent anti-inflammatory drug which relieves pain effectively and can be used in pain management therapy.

Life Sci. 2018 Nov 7. Epub 2018 Nov 7. PMID: 30414428


The therapeutic potentials of blue honeysuckle were either similar or more effective than propylthiouracil for hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is a hypermetabolic syndrome characterized by an overproduction of thyroid hormones, which enhances the hormone-induced oxidative stress responsible for some complications in the liver, heart and muscle. Blue honeysuckle (BH) is an edible berry, rich in polyphenols, especially flavonoids or anthocyanins, known as strong antioxidants. The chemo-protective activities of the berry have been connected to the improvement of symptoms in cancer, diabetes mellitus, tumor or cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the therapeutic effects of BH were examined in hyperthyroidism rat model. The hyperthyroidism was induced by injection with levothyroxine (LT4), and the model was treated with distilled water (LT4 control), propylthiouracil (PTU) or BH at 3 dosages of 500, 250 and 125[Formula: see text]mg/kg. The treatment was performed once a day for 15 days. Compared to LT4 control, the oral administration of BH dose-dependently ameliorated the hyperthyroidism, reducing thyroid hormones and increasing thyroid stimulating hormones. These effects were accompanied by improvement of body weight loss and atrophy in the thyroid gland, liver and epididymal fat pads. BH treatments also reduced the levels of hepatic enzymes (AST and ALT), which suggests BH exerts protective effects on hepatocytes. BH might also be involved in the augmentation of the anti-oxidant activities, supported by increased endogenous antioxidant (glutathione). In addition, the histopathological analyses revealed the beneficial effects of BH on the atrophic changes and cellular injuries in the thyroid gland, liver and epididymal fat pads. The therapeutic potentials of BH were either similar or more effective than PTU. These results provide valuable information that will guide more detailed studies to use the BH as a complementary and alternative medicine.

Am J Chin Med. 2016 ;44(7):1441-1456. Epub 2016 Oct 27. PMID: 27785940


Gallic acid may be used as a therapeutic agent for allergic rhinitis.

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is an allergic nasal disease characterized by nasal obstruction, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and itching. Type 1 helper T cells (Th1)/type 2 helper T cells (Th2) imbalance has been identified as an important immunological mechanism of AR. In addition, up-regulation of type 17 helper T cells (Th17) also increase the risk of developing AR. Gallic acid (3, 4, 5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA), a polyphenol natural product, is obtained from various herbs, red wine, and green tea. It is known to have diverse biological effects such as anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, anti-microbial and anti-cancer. In the present study, the effect of GA on airway inflammation and expression of Th1, Th2 and Th17 cytokines in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced AR mouse model were investigated. GA alleviated the nasal allergic symptoms, reduced the thickness of nasal mucosa, attenuated goblet cell hyperplasia and eosinophil cell infiltration in the nasal mucosa, decreased the levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-13 and IL-17 in nasal lavage fluid (NALF), and diminished the levels of OVA-specific IgE, OVA-specific IgG1 and OVA-specific IgG2a in serum. However, GA increased the expression of interferon-gamma and IL-12 in NALF. Taken together, it suggests that GA may be used as a therapeutic agent for AR.

Int Immunopharmacol. 2019 Mar 15 ;70:512-519. Epub 2019 Mar 15. PMID: 30884431


Rosemary extract causes ROS-induced necrotic cell death and inhibits tumor growth in vivo.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common diagnosed cancer globally. Although substantial advances have been obtained both in treatment and survival rates, there is still a need for new therapeutical approaches. Natural compounds are a realistic source of new bioactive compounds with anticancer activity. Among them, rosemary polyphenols have shown a vast antiproliferative capacity against colon cancer cells in vitro and in animal models. We have investigated the antitumor activity of a rosemary extract (RE) obtained by using supercritical fluid extraction through its capacity to inhibit various signatures of cancer progression and metastasis such as proliferation, migration, invasion and clonogenic survival. RE strongly inhibited proliferation, migration and colony formation of colon cancer cells regardless their phenotype. Treatment with RE led to a sharp increase of intracellular ROS that resulted in necrosis cell death. Nrf2 gene silencing increased RE cytotoxic effects, thus suggesting that this pathway was involved in cell survival. These in vitro results were in line with a reduction of tumor growth by oral administration of RE in a xenograft model of colon cancer cells using athymic nude mice. These findings indicate that targeting colon cancer cells by increasing intracellular ROS and decreasing cell survival mechanisms may suppose a therapeutic option in colon cancer through the combination of rosemary compounds and chemotherapeutic drugs.

Sci Rep. 2019 Jan 28 ;9(1):808. Epub 2019 Jan 28. PMID: 30692565


Luteolin possess potent anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties and can thus be used in pain management.

Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds that not only impart coloration to plants and fruits, but also protect plants from pathogens, radiation, etc. They serve as a nutrient to plants and possess immense anti-oxidant properties. Research has shown that they exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective properties in both in vitro and in vivo analyses. Luteolin is one such flavonoid belongs to the group of flavones present in herbs such as thyme, chamomile, celery, and green pepper. The epidemiological data on luteolin consumption show that luteolin has anti-inflammatory activity and protects from diseases associated with inflammation. The present study assessed the anti-nociceptive properties of luteolin, a potent anti-inflammatory agent, in mice. The results demonstrated that luteolin produces a significant and dose-dependent increase in hot plate latency and tail withdrawal time. It also reduced the number of abdominal constrictions and paw licking induced by acetic acid and glutamate, respectively. Luteolin inhibited the nociceptive responses in both phases of formalin test. The anti-inflammatory property of luteolin was also confirmed with different anti-inflammatory mice models induced by carrageenan and air pouch. Behavioral changes in luteolin-treated mice were assessed with open-field test to confirm the muscle relaxant property. The results of the current study from various pain and inflammatory models confirms that luteolin possess potent anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties and can thus be used as a drug in pain management.

J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2018 ;37(4):351-364. PMID: 30806241


Regular consumption of xanthohumol through fortified beer modulates major remodelling pathways activated in experimental pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Polyphenols present in some alcoholic beverages have been linked to beneficial effects in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Polyphenols found in beer with anti-proliferative and anti-cancer properties are appealing in the context of the quasi-malignant phenotype of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Our purpose was to evaluate if the chronic ingestion of a xanthohumol-fortified beer (FB) would be able to modulate the pathophysiology of experimental PAH. Male Wistar rats with monocrotaline (MCT)-induced PAH (60 mg/kg) were allowed to drink either xanthohumol-fortified beer (MCT + FB) or 5.2% ethanol (MCT + SHAM) for a period 4 weeks. At the end of the protocol, cardiopulmonary exercise testing and hemodynamic recordings were performed, followed by sample collection for further analysis. FB intake resulted in a significant attenuation of the pulmonary vascular remodeling in MCT + FB animals. This improvement was paralleled with the downregulation in expression of proteins responsible for proliferation (ERK1/2), cell viability (AKT), and apoptosis (BCL-XL). Moreover, MCT + FB animals presented improved right ventricle (RV) function and remodeling accompanied by VEGFR-2 pathway downregulation. The present study demonstrates that a regular consumption of xanthohumol through FB modulates major remodeling pathways activated in experimental PAH.

Nutrients. 2019 Mar 9 ;11(3). Epub 2019 Mar 9. PMID: 30857304


Resveratrol and pterostilbene can serve as potential antineoplastic agents against HPV E6+ tumors.

Human papilloma virus (HPV)-induced cervical cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in women residing in underdeveloped countries. Natural compounds like polyphenols continue to be of scientific interest as non-toxic effective alternative treatments. Our previous work showed the efficacy of two polyphenols, resveratrol, and pterostilbene on human HeLa cells. Here we explored theanti-cancer activity andanti-tumor potential of these two structurally similar compounds on HPV oncogene E6 and E7 positive murine TC1 cells.analysis confirmed the cytotoxic potential of both resveratrol and pterostilbene compounds with each having a low ICvalue and each showing the ability to downregulate viral oncogene E6. Furtherstudies on TC1 tumors developing in mice indicated that treatment with either resveratrol or pterostilbene can significantly inhibit tumor development, with both compounds capable of downregulating E6 and VEGF tumor protein levels. Interestingly, the decrease in tumor size in pterostilbene was associated with tumor cell apoptosis, as indicated by an upregulation of activated caspase-3 whereas in resveratrol-treated mice it was accompanied by arrest of cell cycle, as indicated by a downregulation of PCNA. Thus, resveratrol and pterostilbene can serve as potential antineoplastic agents against HPV E6+ tumors and may suppress tumor growth via two different mechanisms.

Front Oncol. 2019 ;9:352. Epub 2019 May 9. PMID: 31143704


Pro-apoptotic and anti-angiogenesis effects of olive leaf extract on spontaneous mouse mammary tumor model.

It has been proven that olive associated products such as olive leaf extract (OLE) causes significant reduction in cancer cells viability and proliferation. Female BALB/c adult mice were divided into four groups. Three days prior to oral treatments, tumors were transplanted. First group were treated with distilled water and other three groups were received, respectively, 75, 150, and 225 mg/kg/day of OLE for three weeks. For assessment of anti-angiogenesis and pro-apoptotic effect of OLE on tumor tissue, tumor volume, cell mitosis and apoptosis, and also vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and endostatin levels were assessed. OLE treatment with 150 and 225 mg/kg/day leadto significant reduction in tumor volume and cell mitosis compared with the control group, while the same doses significantly increase tumor cell apoptosis. OLE treatment with 150 mg/kg/day increase endostatin levels, while the same dose did not significantly decrease VEGF levels. The VEGF level is significantly reduced by the treatment with OLE 225 mg/kg/day for three weeks. Although, further studies are needed to clarify anti-angiogenesis and anti-apoptotic mechanism of OLE, consumption of OLE polyphenols after tumor transplantation reduced spontaneous mouse mammary tumor growth.

Nutr Cancer. 2019 May 10:1-8. Epub 2019 May 10. PMID: 31074644


Paeoniflorin inhibits glioblastoma growth in vivo and in vitro.

Background: Paeoniflorin, a polyphenolic compound derived from(), has exhibited anticancer activity in various human cancers, including glioblastoma. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of this compound have not been fully elucidated. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays an important role in the regulation of cancer cell proliferation and progression, and high TLR4 expression in glioblastoma specimens is associated with a poor prognosis. The present study aimed to investigate whether paeoniflorin suppresses glioblastoma via inhibition of TLR4 expression.Methods: CCK-8 experiments and clone formation assay were performed to detect the cell proliferation. Western blotting was used to analyze protein expression levels. Detection of Triad3A binding with TLR4 was assessed by the immunoprecipitation. Orthotopic xenograft mouse model was used to evaluate the effect of paeoniflorin in vivo. MST was used to analyze the interaction between paeoniflorin and TLR4 protein.Results: In our study, we found that paeoniflorin effectively inhibited glioblastoma growth and suppressed TLR4 protein levels, as well its downstream effectors both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, when overexpressed TLR4 in glioblastoma abolished the effects of paeoniflorin on cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Furthermore, we found that paeoniflorin decreased TLR4 protein through ubiquitination proteasome pathway (UPP)-mediated degradation in glioblastoma cells. Mechanistically, paeoniflorin promoted Triad3A to conjugate with TLR4, resulting in degradation. In addition,-shRNA abolished paeoniflorin-enhanced UPP-mediated TLR4 degradation. Finally, we found that paeoniflorin could directly bind with TLR4 protein as assessed by MST assay.Conclusion: Our study is the first to identify a novel mechanism for the antitumor activity of paeoniflorin, specifically: it decreases tumor growth by directly targeting TLR4 and modulating the TLR4/Triad3A-dependent axis, leading to TLR4 protein degradation and inhibition of glioblastoma cell progression in vitro and in vivo. Our current findings indicate that paeoniflorin is a potential glioblastoma therapeutic agent due to its Triad3A-dependent ubiquitin degradation of TLR4.

Cancer Manag Res. 2018 ;10:887-897. Epub 2018 Apr 27. PMID: 29740218


Paeoniflorin inhibits migration and invasion of human glioblastoma cells.

Paeoniflorin (PF) is a polyphenolic compound derived from Radix Paeoniae Alba thathas anti-cancer activities in a variety of human malignancies including glioblastoma. However, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), characterized as losing cell polarity, plays an essential role in tumor invasion and metastasis. TGFβ, a key member of transforming growth factors, has been demonstrated to contribute to glioblastoma aggressiveness through inducing EMT. Therefore, the present studies aim to investigate whether PF suppresses the expression of TGFβ and inhibits EMT that plays an important role in anti-glioblastoma. We found that PF dose-dependently downregulates the expression of TGFβ, enhances apoptosis, reduces cell proliferation, migration and invasion in three human glioblastoma cell lines (U87, U251, T98G). These effects are enhanced in TGFβ siRNA treated cells and abolished in cells transfected withTGFβ lentiviruses. In addition, other EMT markers such as snail, vimentin and N-cadherin were suppressed by PF in these cell lines and in BALB/c nude mice injected with U87 cells. The expression of MMP2/9, EMT markers, are also dose-dependently reduced in PF treated cells and in U87 xenograft mousemodel. Moreover, the tumor sizes are reduced by PF treatment while there is no change in body weight. These results indicate that PF is a potential novel drug target for the treatment of glioblastoma by suppression of TGFβ signaling pathway and inhibition of EMT.

Neurochem Res. 2018 Mar ;43(3):760-774. Epub 2018 Feb 8. PMID: 29423667


Zingerone could be considered as a good chemopreventive agent in experimental model of colon carcinogenesis.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Development of naturally occurring inexpensive and safe alternatives can be effective in suppressing colon related proliferations. Zingerone (4-[4-hydroxy-3-methylphenyl] butan-2-one), a polyphenolic alkanone of ginger, has massive pharmacological properties and thus can be used as promising candidate against various ailments. In the current study, we aimed at demonstrating the protective effect of zingerone against experimental colon carcinogenesis and elucidating its possible mechanism by studying inflammatory and Nrf-2 signaling cascade. Four groups of animals (I-IV) were made with six animals each. Group I (control) was given normal saline orally. Group II was given 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) at the dose rate of 20 mg/kg body weight. Group III and IV were treated with DMH at the dose rate of 20 mg/kg body weight and also received oral treatment of zingerone at a dose rate of 50 and 100 mg/kg body weight, respectively, for first 5 weeks and animals were euthanized after 16 weeks. Our results reveal that DMH treated rats exhibited elevated ROS and MDA levels, increased activity of cytochrome P450 2E1 and serum marker enzyme carcinoembreyonic antigen (CEA), increased no of aberrant crypts of foci (ACF), and elevated expression of inflammatory and proliferative proteins. Nrf-2 was downregulated by DMH treatment. Treatment with zingerone to DMH treated rats, resulted in alterations in the activity of the cytochrome P450 2E1 and CEA. In addition, immunostaining of NF-kB-p65, COX-2, iNOS, and PCNA, Ki-67 was suppressed by zingerone. Furthermore, zingerone administration also attenuated the levelof IL-6 and TNF-α and it also helps in preserving mucous layer. Thus, zingerone could be considered as a good chemopreventive agent in experimental model of colon carcinogenesis. Further studies are required to study other pathways involved in colon carcinogenesis and their modulation buy zingerone.

Environ Toxicol. 2019 May ;34(5):610-625. Epub 2019 Feb 5. PMID: 30720227


A grape powder attenuates colonic inflammation, inhibits colitis-associated colorectal cancer development.

Objectives: Recent discoveries suggest that gut microbiota is involved in the progression of colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC) and natural products like polyphenols can modulate gut microbiota. Polyphenol components of grape like resveratrol have been shown to have anti-colorectal cancer effects in animal models, but the underlying mechanism is not completely understood. The objective of this study is to examine the chemo-preventive effect of a whole grape powder (GP) on tumorigenesis in a mouse CAC model and evaluated the impact of GP on gut microbiota as a potential anti-CAC mechanism. To dissect the role of polyphenols in the GP, we compared GP at 3 and 10% diet to calorie, fiber, sugar and organic acid-matched placebo.Methods: We used male Balb/c mice and divided them into diseased groups treated with azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) and healthy groups, both of which had placebo control diet, GP at 3% or 10% diet. To induce tumorigenesis, we injected AOM at 9.5 mg/kg bw at 6 weeks of age, followed by 2-cycle DSS (1.5% in drinking water). During the study, we monitored animals' body weight and food consumption weekly, and evaluated their colitis symptoms during DSS treatments. All animals were sacrificed at 16 weeks of age and 24-hr accumulative fecal samples were collected prior to sacrifice for gut microbial analysis.Results: Compared to the control diet, 10% GP diet alleviated colitis symptoms including rectal bleeding and diarrhea, and reduced total tumor multiplicity by 29% ( 

Curr Dev Nutr. 2019 Jun ;3(Suppl 1). Epub 2019 Jun 13. PMID: 31224334


Black Tea inhibits lung carcinogenesis.

One of the most promising strategies for cancer prevention is chemoprevention by daily used food and beverages. Black tea, the most widely consumed beverage, is a source of compounds with antioxidative, antimicrobial, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in both men and women worldwide. Over one million people around the world are likely to be killed by lung cancer due to increased tobacco smoking and environmental pollutants, especially car exhausts. Therefore chemopreventive intervention using black tea and its active components may be a viable means to reduce lung cancer death. In the present investigation, we used benzo(a)pyrene (BP) to induce lung carcinogenesis in mice for the assessment of potential apoptosis-inducing and proliferation-suppressing effects of theaflavins and epigallocatechin gallate, active components of black tea. Hyperplasia, dysplasia and carcinoma in situ evident in the carcinogen control group on the 8th, 17th and 26th weeks respectively, were effectively reduced after treatment with theaflavins and epigallocatechin gallate. Significant reduction in number of proliferating cells and increased number of apoptotic cells was also found on the 8th, 17th and 26th week of treatment with theaflavins and epigallocatechin gallate in BP-exposed mice. Our observation suggests a promising role for black tea polyphenols in the prevention of lung cancer.

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2005 Jun;14(3):215-21. PMID: 15901989


Blueberry can inhibit colon cancer cell proliferation and induce cell death.

Research has shown that diets rich in phenolic compounds may be associated with lower risks of several chronic diseases including cancer. This study systematically evaluated the bioactivities of phenolic compounds in rabbiteye blueberries and assessed their potential antiproliferation and apoptosis induction effects using two colon cancer cell lines, HT-29 and Caco-2. Polyphenols in three blueberry cultivars, Briteblue, Tifblue, and Powderblue, were extracted and freeze-dried. The extracts were further separated into phenolic acids, tannins, flavonols, and anthocyanins using an HLB cartridge and LH20 column. Some individual phenolic acids and flavonoids were identified by HPLC with >90% purity in anthocyanin fractions. The dried extracts and fractions were added to the cell culture medium to test for antiproliferation activities and induction of apoptosis. Flavonol and tannin fractions resulted in 50% inhibition of cell proliferation at concentrations of 70-100 and 50-100 microg/mL in HT-29 and Caco-2 cells, respectively. The phenolic acid fraction showed relatively lower bioactivities with 50% inhibition at approximately 1000 microg/mL. The greatest antiproliferation effect among all four fractions was from the anthocyanin fractions. Both HT-29 and Caco-2 cell growth was significantly inhibited by >50% by the anthocyanin fractions at concentrations of 15-50 microg/mL. Anthocyanin fractions also resulted in 2-7 times increases in DNA fragmentation, indicating the induction of apoptosis. The effective dosage levels are close to the reported range of anthocyanin concentrations in rat plasma. These findings suggest that blueberry intake may reduce colon cancer risk.

Mol Cell Biochem. 2008 May;312(1-2):139-45. Epub 2008 Mar 10.v PMID: 16131149


Curcumin (from Turmeric) inhibits autoimmune diseases.

The immune system has evolved to protect the host from microbial infection; nevertheless, a breakdown in the immune system often results in infection, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, myocarditis, thyroiditis, uveitis, systemic lupus erythromatosis, and myasthenia gravis are organ-specific autoimmune diseases that afflict more than 5% of the population worldwide. Although the etiology is not known and a cure is still wanting, the use of herbal and dietary supplements is on the rise in patients with autoimmune diseases, mainly because they are effective, inexpensive, and relatively safe. Curcumin is a polyphenolic compound isolated from the rhizome of the plant Curcuma longa that has traditionally been used for pain and wound-healing. Recent studies have shown that curcumin ameliorates multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease in human or animal models. Curcumin inhibits these autoimmune diseases by regulating inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-12, TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma and associated JAK-STAT, AP-1, and NF-kappaB signaling pathways in immune cells. Although the beneficial effects of nutraceuticals are traditionally achieved through dietary consumption at low levels for long periods of time, the use of purified active compounds such as curcumin at higher doses for therapeutic purposes needs extreme caution. A precise understanding of effective dose, safe regiment, and mechanism of action is required for the use of curcumin in the treatment of human autoimmune diseases.

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:425-51. PMID: 17569223


Green Tea induces apoptosis in drug-resistant small-cell lung carcinoma.

Epidemiological studies on humans and investigations in animal models suggest that consumption of green tea has anti-cancer effects. Small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) has a poor prognosis, particularly due to the development of drug resistance. We investigated the effects of the green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on human SCLC cells. EGCG had similar effects (IC(50) of approximately 70 microM) on drug-sensitive (H69) and drug-resistant (H69VP) SCLC cells, indicating that it is not part of the drug resistance phenotype expressed in these cells. In both cell lines, incubation in EGCG at 1 x IC(50) for 24h resulted in 50-60% reduced telomerase activity as measured by a PCR-based assay for telomeric repeats. Colorimetric assays of cells treated for 36 h with EGCG demonstrated a reduction in activities of caspases 3 (50%) and 9 (70%) but not caspase 8, indicating initiation of apoptosis. DNA fragmentation as measured by ELISA occurred within cells treated with EGCG and this was confirmed by TUNEL staining. Flow cytometric analysis of SCLC cells incubated for 36 h in EGCG indicated a cell-cycle block in S phase. These data indicate the potential use of EGCG, and possibly green tea, in treating SCLC.  

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Aug 17;360(1):233-7. Epub 2007 Jun 14. PMID: 17585882


EGCG fights cancer by modulating telomerase activity.

The ends of human chromosomes are protected from the degradation associated with cell division by 15-20 kb long segments of hexameric repeats of 5'-TTAGGG-3' termed telomeres. In normal cells telomeres lose up to 300 bp of DNA per cell division that ultimately leads to senescence; however, most cancer cells bypass this lifespan restriction through the expression of telomerase. hTERT, the catalytic subunit essential for the proper function of telomerase, has been shown to be expressed in approximately 90% of all cancers. In this study we investigated the hTERT inhibiting effects of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major polyphenol found in green tea catechins, in MCF-7 breast cancers cells and HL60 promyelocytic leukemia cells. Exposure to EGCG reduced cellular proliferation and induced apoptosis in both MCF-7 and HL60 cells in vitro, although hTERT mRNA expression was decreased only in MCF-7 cells when treated with EGCG. Furthermore, down-regulation of hTERT gene expression in MCF-7 cells appeared to be largely due to epigenetic alterations. Treatment of MCF-7 cells with EGCG resulted in a time-dependent decrease in hTERT promoter methylation and ablated histone H3 Lys9 acetylation. In conjunction with demethylation, further analysis showed an increase in hTERT repressor E2F-1 binding at the promoter. From these findings, we propose that EGCG is effective in causing cell death in both MCF-7 and HL60 cancer cell lines and may work through different pathways involving both anti-oxidant effects and epigenetic modulation. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.  

J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Nov 1;67(2):233-9. PMID: 17570133


Guggul inhibits both non-drug and drug-resistant cancer cells.

Guggulsterone is a plant polyphenol traditionally used to treat obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, and osteoarthritis, possibly through an anti-inflammatory mechanism. Whether this steroid has any role in cancer is not known. In this study, we found that guggulsterone inhibits the proliferation of wide variety of human tumor cell types including leukemia, head and neck carcinoma, multiple myeloma, lung carcinoma, melanoma, breast carcinoma, and ovarian carcinoma. Guggulsterone also inhibited the proliferation of drug-resistant cancer cells (e.g., gleevac-resistant leukemia, dexamethasone-resistant multiple myeloma, and doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cells). Guggulsterone suppressed the proliferation of cells through inhibition of DNA synthesis, producing cell cycle arrest in S-phase, and this arrest correlated with a decrease in the levels of cyclin D1 and cdc2 and a concomitant increase in the levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 and p27. Guggulsterone-induced apoptosis as indicated by increase in the number of Annexin V- and TUNEL-positive cells, through the downregulation of anti-apoptototic products. The apoptosis induced by guggulsterone was also indicated by the activation of caspase-8, bid cleavage, cytochrome c release, caspase-9 activation, caspase-3 activation, and PARP cleavage. The apoptotic effects of guggulsterone were preceded by activation of JNK and downregulation of Akt activity. JNK was needed for guggulsterone-induced apoptosis, inasmuch as inhibition of JNK by pharmacological inhibitors or by genetic deletion of MKK4 (activator of JNK) abolished the activity. Overall, our results indicate that guggulsterone can inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis through the activation of JNK, suppression of Akt, and downregulation of antiapoptotic protein expression.

Biochem Pharmacol. 2007 Jun 30;74(1):118-30. Epub 2007 Mar 30. PMID: 17475222


Pomegranate exhibits significant antitumor activity against human prostate cancer.

We completed a multicenter study of the effects of pomegranate cold-pressed (Oil) or supercritical CO(2)-extracted (S) seed oil, fermented juice polyphenols (W), and pericarp polyphenols (P) on human prostate cancer cell xenograft growth in vivo, and/or proliferation, cell cycle distribution, apoptosis, gene expression, and invasion across Matrigel, in vitro. Oil, W, and P each acutely inhibited in vitro proliferation of LNCaP, PC-3, and DU 145 human cancer cell lines. The dose of P required to inhibit cell proliferation of the prostate cancer cell line LNCaP by 50% (ED(50)) was 70 microg/mL, whereas normal prostate epithelial cells (hPrEC) were significantly less affected (ED(50) = 250 g/mL). These effects were mediated by changes in both cell cycle distribution and induction of apoptosis. For example, the androgen-independent cell line DU 145 showed a significant increase from 11% to 22% in G(2)/M cells (P <.05) by treatment with Oil (35 microg/mL) with a modest induction of apoptosis. In other cell lines/treatments, the apoptotic response predominated, for example, in PC-3 cells treated with P, at least partially through a caspase 3-mediated pathway. These cellular effects coincided with rapid changes in mRNA levels of gene targets. Thus, 4-hour treatment of DU 145 cells with Oil (35 microg/mL) resulted in significant 2.3 +/- 0.001-fold (mean +/- SEM) up-regulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21((waf1/cip1)) (P <.01) and 0.6 +/- 0.14-fold down-regulation of c-myc (P <.05). In parallel, all agents potently suppressed PC-3 invasion through Matrigel, and furthermore P and S demonstrated potent inhibition of PC-3 xenograft growth in athymic mice. Overall, this study demonstrates significant antitumor activity of pomegranate-derived materials against human prostate cancer.

J Med Food. 2004 Fall;7(3):274-83. PMID: 15383219

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