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      Uncaria tomentosa Leaves Decoction Modulates Differently ROS Production in Cancer and Normal Cells, and Effects Cisplatin Cytotoxicity

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          Uncaria tomentosa is a woody vine with a long history of use in traditional Peruvian medicine and nowadays supplements containing this vine as ingredient are available. Immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties of Uncaria tomentosa have been suggested and attributed mainly to the presence of tetracyclic or pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids. However, the synergic action of different compounds occurring in extracts and modulation of redox processes may significantly influence the anticancer activity of Uncaria tomentosa. The aim of the present study was to investigate for the first time the cytotoxic effects of the tetracyclic alkaloids free aqueous extract (decoction) of dried Uncaria tomentosa leaf blades in normal and cancer cells, and to assess the effect of the tested extract on cisplatin (CDDP) cytotoxicity. Tested Uncaria tomentosa extract was not cytotoxic for NHDF cells, but demonstrated cytotoxic effect against HepG2 cells. The extract increased ROS production in HepG2 cells, which resulted in decreased GSH level, leading to apoptosis of these cells through activation of caspase-3 and caspase-7. A reduction of NF-κB active form was observed in cancer cells. In normal cells the extract did not affect ROS production, GSH level and NF-κB activity, and maintained cell viability. HepG2 cells incubation with Uncaria tomentosa decoction and simultaneously with CDDP resulted in an increase in CDPP cytotoxic activity against HepG2, while under the same conditions Uncaria tomentosa prevents NHDF cell viability reduction due to CDDP. The results indicate that Uncaria tomentosa leaves decoction modulates differently cancer and normal cells oxidative metabolism and, enhanced cytotoxicity of CDDP against cancer cells and at the same time increased normal healthy cells resistance to cisplatin. Further studies are needed to confirm our observations and to describe underlying molecular mechanism, and the potential usefulness of Uncaria tomentosa decoction in adjuvant therapy for cancer.

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            Grape-seed procyanidins act as antiinflammatory agents in endotoxin-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages by inhibiting NFkB signaling pathway.

            Procyanindin extract (PE) is a mixture of polyphenols, mainly procyanidins, obtained from grape seed with putative antiinflammatory activity. We evaluated the PE effect on RAW 264.7 macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide plus interferon-gamma that show a rapid enhanced production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide (NO). Our results demonstrated that PE significantly inhibited the overproduction of NO, dose and time dependently. PE caused a marked inhibition of PGE2 synthesis when administered during activation. Moreover, PE pretreatment diminished iNOS mRNA and protein amount dose dependently (10-65 microg/mL). PE (65 microg/mL) pretreatment inhibited NFkappaB (p65) translocation to nucleus by nearly 40%. Trimeric and longer oligomeric-rich procyanidin fractions from PE (5-30 microg/mL) inhibited iNOS expression but not the monomeric forms catechin and epicatechin. Thus, we show that the degree of polymerization is important in determining procyanidin effects. PE was considerably a more effective inhibitor of NO biosynthesis (IC50 = 50 microg/mL) in comparison to other antiinflammatories, such as aspirin (3 mM), indomethacin (20 microM), and dexamethasone (9 nM). In conclusion, PE modulates inflammatory response in activated macrophages by the inhibition of NO and PGE2 production, suppression of iNOS expression, and NFkB translocation. These results demonstrate an immunomodulatory role of grape seed procyanidins and thus a potential health-benefit in inflammatory conditions that exert an overproduction of NO and PGE2.
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              Treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.

              Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer in the world and the third cause of cancer-related death. Despite therapeutic advances, the overall survival of patients with HCC has not significantly improved in the last two decades. In the majority of the cases there is underlying cirrhosis, so the prognosis of HCC depends on not only tumor stage but also liver function. There is not a widely accepted HCC staging system. In our group we have developed a new staging classification that stratifies HCC patients into four major categories and simultaneously links staging with treatment. Patients at an early stage are those who present with an asymptomatic single HCC with a maximum diameter of 5cm or up to three nodules each less than 3cm. They will benefit from curative therapies, including resection, liver transplantation (LT), and percutaneous ablation. Patients exceeding these limits, but who are free of cancer-related symptoms and vascular invasion or extrahepatic spread fit into the intermediate stage and may benefit from palliation with chemoembolization. The patients with mild cancer-related symptoms and/or vascular invasion or extrahepatic spread are included in the advanced stage. In this stage there is not effective therapy, and these patients may profit from new therapies in the setting of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Finally, the patients with severe cancer-related symptoms or great tumor burden belong to the terminal stage and only benefit from symptomatic treatment.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                Molecules : A Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry
                12 April 2017
                April 2017
                : 22
                : 4
                [1 ]Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacogenomics, Faculty of Pharmacy with the Laboratory Medicine Division, and Center for Preclinical Studies, Medical University of Warsaw, 02097 Warsaw, Poland; grazyna.nowicka@
                [2 ]Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Care, Faculty of Pharmacy with the Laboratory Medicine Division, Medical University of Warsaw, 02097 Warsaw, Poland; edyta.jaszewska@
                [3 ]Department of Molecular Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, 02096 Warsaw, Poland; kuras@
                [4 ]Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Polish Academy of Science, Poznań, 61704 Poznań, Poland; krysgul@
                [5 ]Chair and Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Medical University of Lublin, 20093 Lublin, Poland; wioletapietrzak@ (W.P.); renata.nowak@ (R.N.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: anita.kosmider@ ; Tel./Fax: +48-22-57-20-735
                © 2017 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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