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Braz. j. med. biol. res ; 54(10): e10891, 2021. tab, graf
Article in English | LILACS | ID: biblio-1285652


Juniperus communis (JCo) is a well-known traditional Chinese medicinal plant that has been used to treat wounds, fever, swelling, and rheumatism. However, the mechanism underlying the anticancer effect of JCo extract on colorectal cancer (CRC) has not yet been elucidated. This study investigated the anticancer effects of JCo extract in vitro and in vivo as well as the precise molecular mechanisms. Cell viability was evaluated using the MTT assay. Cell cycle distribution was examined by flow cytometry analysis, and cell apoptosis was determined by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Protein expression was analyzed using western blotting. The in vivo activity of the JCo extract was evaluated using a xenograft BALB/c mouse model. The tumors and organs were examined through hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and immunohistochemistry. The results showed that JCo extract exhibited higher cytotoxicity against CRC cells than against normal cells and showed synergistic effects when combined with 5-fluorouracil. JCo extract induced cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase via regulation of p53/p21 and CDK4/cyclin D1 and induced cell apoptosis via the extrinsic (FasL/Fas/caspase-8) and intrinsic (Bax/Bcl-2/caspase-9) apoptotic pathways. In vivo studies revealed that JCo extract suppressed tumor growth through the inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis. In addition, there was no obvious change in body weight or histological morphology of normal organs after treatment. JCo extract suppressed CRC progression by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in vitro and in vivo, suggesting the potential application of JCo extract in the treatment of CRC.

Animals , Rabbits , Colorectal Neoplasms/drug therapy , Adenocarcinoma/drug therapy , Juniperus , Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic/pharmacology , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Cell Cycle , Apoptosis , Cell Line, Tumor , Cell Proliferation , Cell Cycle Checkpoints , Mice, Inbred BALB C