Antitumor effect of the ethanol extract of Scutellaria baicalensis on the mice bearing U14 cervical cancer
Scutellaria baicalensis which is a traditional plant amedica in China possesses a wide anti-cancer effect. However, the inhibition effect and mechanism of S. baicalensis on cervical cancer is not clear up to now. In our study, two kinds of ethanol extract of S. baicalensis were used in U14 cervical cancer mice. The rate of tumor inhibition was detected, and the tumor cell morphology was observed by hematoxylin and eosin (H.E.) staining method. The cell cycle and apoptosis rate were examined by flow cytometry and the content of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in serum was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. Furthermore, the expression of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and Bax gene was detected by immunohistochemistry method. The results showed that the tumor growth could be inhibited with the highest inhibition rate of 59.86% and the apoptosis of tumor cells could be induced and cell cycles were arrested at S phase in the ethanol extract of S. baicalensis groups. Besides, the content of TNF-α in serum was significantly increased (P<0.05). The Bcl-2 positive cells got significance reduction and Bax positive cells were increased. So we conclude that the ethanol extract of S. baicalensis can inhibit the growth of tumor cells, arrest the cell cycle and induce the cells apoptosis and increase the content of tumor necrosis factor-alpha TNF-α in serum. The mechanism of anti-tumor activity might be associated with down regulating the level of Bcl-2 gene and up regulating the level of Bax gene.
Key words: Scutellaria baicalensis, cervical cancer, cell cycle, cell apoptosis, TNF-α, Bcl-2, Bax.