Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Apr 7, 2016; 22(13): 3564-3572
Published online Apr 7, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i13.3564
Apoptosis of human gastric carcinoma cells induced by Euphorbia esula latex
Zhao-Ying Fu, Xiao-Dong Han, Ai-Hong Wang, Xiao-Bin Liu
Zhao-Ying Fu, Institute of Molecular Biology and Immunology, Yan’an University, Yan’an 716000, Shaanxi Province, China
Xiao-Dong Han, Department of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, Shaanxi Province, China
Xiao-Dong Han, Ai-Hong Wang, Xiao-Bin Liu, Department of Medicine, Yan’an University, Yan’an 716000, Shaanxi Province, China
Author contributions: Fu ZY designed the research, performed the major experiments, and wrote the paper; Han XD prepared the extract, performed the majority of the experiments and is the co-first author of the paper; Wang AH performed the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and agarose gel electrophoresis studies. Liu XB coordinated the research and analyzed the data.
Supported by Shaanxi Provincial High-Level University Construction Project in Basic Medical Sciences, No. 2013SXTS02; and Yan’an Science and Technology Department, No. 2014HM-05.
Institutional review board statement: This study was reviewed and approved by the Academic Committee of Medical College of Yan’an University, Yan’an, China.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest related to this study.
Data sharing statement: No additional unpublished data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Dr. Zhao-Ying Fu, Professor, Institute of Molecular Biology and Immunology, Yan’an University, Yan’an 716000, Shaanxi Province, China.
Telephone: +86-911-2413293 Fax: +86-911-2413293
Received: October 29, 2015
Peer-review started: November 25, 2015
First decision: December 11, 2015
Revised: December 21, 2015
Accepted: January 11, 2016
Article in press: January 11, 2016
Published online: April 7, 2016

AIM: To investigate the effect of Euphorbia esula (E. esula) extract in inhibiting proliferation and inducing apoptosis in SGC-7901 cells.

METHODS: E. esula extract at different concentrations was used to inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis of human gastric carcinoma SGC-7901 cells. Inhibition of proliferation was detected with thiazolyl blue assay, and apoptosis was detected with fluorescence microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and flow cytometry. The mechanisms were studied by measurement of caspase-3 and caspase-8 activities and Bax and Bcl2 mRNA expression.

RESULTS: The thiazolyl blue assay showed that SGC-7901 cell viability and proliferation were inhibited significantly by E. esula extract in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that the cell nuclei showed the characteristic changes of apoptosis, such as uneven staining and chromatin marginalization. Some key features of apoptosis were also observed under transmission electron microscopy, which included cellular shrinkage and the foaming or bubbling phenomenon. When the cells were analyzed by flow cytometry, a sub-G1 peak could be seen clearly. Spectrophotometric assay of caspase-3 and caspase-8 activities in the treated cells showed an approximately two-fold increase. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction showed that Bax mRNA expression was upregulated, while Bcl2 mRNA expression was downregulated.

CONCLUSION: E. esula extract inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in SGC-7901 cells, in a caspase-dependent manner, involving upregulation of Bax and downregulation of Bcl2.

Keywords: Euphorbia esula Linn, Apoptosis, Gastric carcinoma, Caspase, Bax, Bcl2

Core tip: Latex of Euphorbia esula (E. esula) is used to treat benign growths in traditional Chinese medicine. This led us to design an experiment to establish whether latex of E. esula can cause apoptosis. We found that E. esula extract inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in SGC-7901 cells, and that the action was caspase dependent and involved upregulation of Bax gene and downregulation of Bcl2 gene.