15 June 2017
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is the most common biliary tract malignancy in the world with high resistance to current chemotherapies and extremely poor prognosis. The main objective of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of cryptotanshinone (CTS), a natural compound isolated from Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, on CCA both in vitro and in vivo and to explore the underlying mechanisms of CTS-induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.
The anti-tumor activity of CTS on HCCC-9810 and RBE cells was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and colony forming assays. Cell cycle changes were detected by flow cytometric analysis. Apoptosis was detected by annexin V/propidium iodide double staining and Hoechst 33342 staining assays. The efficacy of CTS in vivo was evaluated using a HCCC-9810 xenograft model in athymic nude mice. The expression of key proteins involved in cell apoptosis and signaling pathway in vitro was analyzed by Western blot analysis.
CTS induced potent growth inhibition, S-phase arrest, apoptosis, and colony-forming inhibition in HCCC-9810 and RBE cells in a dose-dependent manner. Intraperitoneal injection of CTS (0, 10, or 25 mg/kg) for 4 weeks significantly inhibited the growth of HCCC-9810 xenografts in athymic nude mice. CTS treatment induced S-phase arrest with a decrease of cyclin A1 and an increase of cyclin D1 protein level. Bcl-2 expression was downregulated remarkably, while Bax expression was increased after apoptosis occurred. Additionally, the activation of JAK2/STAT3 and PI3K/Akt/NFκB was significantly inhibited in CTS-treated CCA cells.