Anti-proliferation Effects of Isorhamnetin on Lung Cancer Cells in Vitro and in Vivo

  • Li, Qiong (School of Preclinical and Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University) ;
  • Ren, Fu-Qiang (Department of Thoracic Surgery, The Third People's Hospital of Chengdu) ;
  • Yang, Chun-Lei (Life Science College, Sichuan University) ;
  • Zhou, Li-Ming (School of Preclinical and Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University) ;
  • Liu, Yan-You (School of Preclinical and Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University) ;
  • Xiao, Jing (School of Preclinical and Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University) ;
  • Zhu, Ling (School of Preclinical and Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University) ;
  • Wang, Zhen-Grong (School of Preclinical and Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University)
  • Published : 2015.04.14


Background: Isorhamnetin (Iso), a novel and essential monomer derived from total flavones of Hippophae rhamnoides that has long been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for angina pectoris and acute myocardial infarction, has also shown a spectrum of antitumor activity. However, little is known about the mechanisms of action Iso on cancer cells. Objectives: To investigate the effects of Iso on A549 lung cancer cells and underlying mechanisms. Materials and Methods: A549 cells were treated with $10{\sim}320{\mu}g/ml$ Iso. Their morphological and cellular characteristics were assessed by light and electronic microscopy. Growth inhibition was analyzed by MTT, clonogenic and growth curve assays. Apoptotic characteristics of cells were determined by flow cytometry (FCM), DNA fragmentation, single cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay, immunocytochemistry and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick end labeling (TUNEL). Tumor models were setup by transplanting Lewis lung carcinoma cells into C57BL/6 mice, and the weights and sizes of tumors were measured. Results: Iso markedly inhibited the growth of A549 cells with induction of apoptotic changes. Iso at $20{\mu}g/ml$, could induce A549 cell apoptosis, up-regulate the expression of apoptosis genes Bax, Caspase-3 and P53, and down-regulate the expression of Bcl-2, cyclinD1 and PCNA protein. The tumors in tumor-bearing mice treated with Iso were significantly smaller than in the control group. The results of apoptosis-related genes, PCNA, cyclinD1 and other protein expression levels of transplanted Lewis cells were the same as those of A549 cells in vitro. Conclusions: Iso, a natural single compound isolated from total flavones, has antiproliferative activity against lung cancer in vitro and in vivo. Its mechanisms of action may involve apoptosis of cells induced by down-regulation of oncogenes and up-regulation of apoptotic genes.


Isorhamnetin;apoptosis;A549;Lewis lung carcinoma;flavones


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