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Researchers investigate the ability of luteolin to inhibit the proliferation of esophageal cancer cells


Researchers at the Southeast University in China conducted this study to verify the influence of luteolin on the apoptosis of esophageal cancer (Eca 109) cells and to further investigate the mechanisms underlying its effect. Their findings were published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness.

  • The researchers exposed Eca 109 cells to different concentrations of luteolin (0, 40, 80, 120, 160, 200, 240 microMolar) for 24, 48 and 72 hours, respectively, and evaluated its effect on cell proliferation using MTT assay.
  • They also treated Eca 10 cells with 0, 40, 160 and 240 microMolar for 24 hours and used flow cytometry to determine its effect on cell cycle progression and apoptosis.
  • The researchers then analyzed the mRNA and protein expressions of caspase-9 and -3 using real-time PCR and Western blot, respectively.
  • They found that luteolin inhibited the proliferation of Eca 109 cells at all concentrations in a time-dependent manner.
  • The relative inhibition rate showed an inverted U-shaped association with luteolin concentration.
  • Luteolin also arrested the cell cycle in the S phase and induced apoptosis of Eca 109 cells at 40, 160 and 240 microMolar.
  • The researchers reported that as luteolin concentration increased, its effects changed from promotional to inhibitory.
  • The effect of luteolin on the mRNA and protein expression of caspase-9 and caspase-3 first manifested as promotion, then inhibition.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that luteolin kills esophageal carcinoma cells by inducing cell apoptosis via increased expression of caspase-3 and -9.

Read the full study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Wang S, Fu L, Wu Y, Xiao H, Wang J, Sun G. INFLUENCE OF LUTEOLIN ON THE APOPTOSIS OF ESOPHAGEAL CANCER ECA109 CELLS AND ITS MECHANISM OF ACTION. Food Science and Human Wellness. June 2019;8(2):189–194. DOI: 10.1016/j.fshw.2019.03.014



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