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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cytotoxicity and apoptotic inducibility of Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract in cultured human normal and cancer cells and effect on growth.

A crude extract was prepared with ethanol from dried ripened Vitex agnus-castus fruits growing in Israel (Vitex extract). Cytotoxicity of the extract against human uterine cervical canal fibroblast ( HCF), human embryo fibroblast (HE-21), ovarian cancer (MCF-7), cervical carcinoma (SKG-3a), breast carcinoma (SKOV-3), gastric signet ring carcinoma (KATO-III), colon carcinoma (COLO 201), and small cell lung carcinoma (Lu-134-A-H) cells was examined. After culture for 24 h (logarithmic growth phase) or 72 h (stationary growth phase), the cells were treated with various concentrations of Vitex extract. In both growth phases, higher growth activity of cells and more cytotoxic activity of Vitex extract were seen. The cytotoxic activity against stationary growth-phase cells was less than that against logarithmic growth-phase cells. DNA fragmentation of Vitex extract-treated cells was seen in SKOV-3, KATO-III, COLO 201, and Lu-134-A-H cells. The DNA fragmentation in Vitex extract-treated KATO-III cells was inhibited by the presence of the antioxidative reagent pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate or N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC). Western blotting analysis showed that in Vitex extract-treated KATO-III cells, the presence of NAC also inhibited the expression of heme oxygenase-1 and the active forms of caspases-3, -8 and -9. It is concluded that the cytotoxic activity of Vitex extract may be attributed to the effect on cell growth, that cell death occurs through apoptosis, and that this apoptotic cell death may be attributed to increased intracellular oxidation by Vitex extract treatment.[1]


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