Cryptotanshinone Induces Inhibition of Breast Tumor Growth by Cytotoxic CD4+ T Cells through the JAK2/STAT4/ Perforin Pathway

  • Zhou, Jun (The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Xu, Xiao-Zhen (Liver Disease Branch, Ningbo No.2 Hospital) ;
  • Hu, Yao-Ren (Liver Disease Branch, Ningbo No.2 Hospital) ;
  • Hu, Ai-Rong (Liver Disease Branch, Ningbo No.2 Hospital) ;
  • Zhu, Cheng-Liang (Department of Clinical Laboratory, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University) ;
  • Gao, Guo-Sheng (Department of Clinical Laboratory, Ningbo No.2 Hospital)
  • Published : 2014.03.30


Cryptotanshinone (CPT), is a quinoid diterpene isolated from the root of the Asian medicinal plant, Salvia miotiorrhiza bunge. Numerous researchers have found that it could work as a potent antitumor agent to inhibit tumor growth in vitro, buith there has been much less emphasis on its in vivo role against breast tumors. Using a mouse tumor model of MCF7 cells, we showed that CPT strongly inhibited MCF7 cell growth in vivo with polarization of immune reactions toward Th1-type responses, stimulation of naive CD4+ T cell proliferation, and also increased IFN-${\gamma}$ and perforin production of CD4+ T cells in response to tumor-activated splenocytes. Furthermore, data revealed that the cytotoxic activity of CD4+ T cells induced by CPT was markedly abrogated by concanamycin A(CMA), a perforin inhibitor, but not IFN-${\gamma}$ Ab. On the other hand, after depletion of CD4+ T cells or blocked perforin with CMA in a tumor-bearing model, CPT could not effectively suppress tumor growth, but this phenomenon could be reversed by injecting naive CD4+ T cells. Thus, our results suggested that CPT mainly inhibited breast tumor growth through inducing cytotoxic CD4+ T cells to secrete perforin. We further found that CPT enhanced perforin production of CD4+ T cells by up-regulating JAK2 and STAT4 phosphorylation. These findings suggest a novel potential therapeutic role for CPT in tumor therapy, and demonstrate that CPT performs its antitumor functions through cytotoxic CD4+ T cells.


CPT;perforin;cytotoxic CD4+ T cells;breast tumor;JAK2;STAT4


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