Anti-angiogenic effect of the total flavonoids in Scutellaria barbata D. Don

Dai Z-J et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:150 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-150

Angiogenesis is closely related to the growth, invasion and metastasis of tumors, also considered as the key target of anticancer therapy. Scutellaria barbata D. Don (S. barbata), a traditional Chinese medicine, is being used to treat various diseases, including cancer. However, the antitumor molecular mechanism of S. barbata was still unclear. This study aimed to investigate the inhibitory effects of the total flavones in S. barbata (TF-SB) on angiogenesis.

Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with various concentrations of TF-SB. Cell viability was examined using the MTT assay. The scratch assay was used to detect the migration of HUVECs after treatment with TF-SB. The ability of HUVECs to form network structures in vitro was demonstrated using the tube formation assay. The chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane assay was performed to detect the in vivo anti-angiogenic effect. The expression of VEGF was measured by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent.

Results showed that TF-SB inhibited the proliferation and migration of HUVECs in a dose- dependent manner. Simultaneously, TF-SB significantly suppressed HUVEC angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, VEGF was downregulated in both HUVECs and MHCC97-H cells after TF-SB treatment.

TF-SB could suppress the process of angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. TF-SB potentially suppresses angiogenesis in HUVECs by regulating VEGF. These findings suggested that TF- SB may serve as a potent anti-angiogenic agent.

Scutellaria barbata D. Don (S. barbata) is a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine, which is widely distributed in certain areas of China and Korea. S. barbata has known anti- inflammatory and anti-tumor effects. Thus, this herb has been clinically used for treating inflammatory diseases and cancer. The crude extracts of S. barbata have demonstrated inhibitory effects on numerous human cancers in vitro, including hepatoma, colon cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer [1-5]. Our previous study confirmed that the extract of S. barbata is a potent inhibitor in hepatoma in vitro and in vivo [6]. To date, several flavonoids, alkaloids, polysaccharides, and steroids from S. barbata have been characterized [20-24]. In the present study, we investigated the anti-angiogenic effects of total flavonoids of S. barbata (TF-SB) in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and the human HCC cell line MHCC97-H.

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