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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2006, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (4): 397-401.doi: 10.3736/jcim20060416

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Chinese herbal medicine for warming kidney on proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture

Mei-na Ye, Hong-feng Chen   

  1. Department of Breast Surgery, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Online:2006-07-31 Published:2006-07-15


To evaluate the effects of Chinese herbal medicine for warming kidney on proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture.


The normal human mammary epithelial cells were dissociated by digestion with collagenase type Ⅰ. The morphological identification of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture was determined under inverted phase contrast microscope and transmission electron microscope. The estradiol and progesterone were added to culture medium to induce the proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture, and the different doses of Chinese herbal medicine for warming kidney and tamoxifen were also added into the culture medium. The MTT assay was used to evaluate the proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture under the different conditions of interventions.


The normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture presented typically morphological features of normal human mammary epithelial cells in vitro. The proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture was significantly improved by intervention of estradiol and progesterone both with concentration of 1×10 –5 g/L. The high-dose Chinese herbal medicine for warming kidney could obviously promote the proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture, while the proliferation was obviously inhibited by low-dose Chinese herbal medicine for warming kidney. The tamoxifen exerted no effects on the proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture.


The estradiol and progesterone can enhance the ability of proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture. The regulating effect of Chinese herbal medicine for warming kidney on proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture is dose-dependent.

Key words: Warming kidney, Drugs, Chinese herbal, Primary culture, Mammary glands, Human, Epithelial cell, Cell proliferation

CLC Number: 

  • R655.82

Figure 1

Morphological identification of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary cultureA: Under inverted phase contrast microscope (×200); B: Under light microscope (HE staining, ×200); C: Under transmission electron microscope (×15 000), a: microfilament, b: tight junction; D: Under transmission electron microscope (×15 000), a: intermediate junction, b: desmosome, c: gap junction."

Table 1

Effects of estradiol and progesterone on proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture(ヌ±S )"

Group n OD value
1 1×10–1 g/L 1×10–2 g/L 1×10–3 g/L 1×10–4 g/L 1×10–5 g/L
E-treated 5 0.127±0.006 0.144±0.006 0.158±0.013 0.159±0.014 0.172±0.008
P-treated 5 0.117±0.008 0.134±0.009 0.146±0.010 0.148±0.012 0.170±0.034
E plus P-treated 5 0.097±0.011 0.144±0.015 0.139±0.009 0.128±0.013 0.185±0.014**
Untreated 5 0.123±0.004

Table 2

Proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells in primary culture in different groups(ヌ±S )"

Group n OD value
Chinese herbal medicine for warming kidney-treated
High-dose (100 g/L) 12 0.178±0.041**
Low-dose (10 g/L) 12 –0.007±0.011**
High-dose (100 mg/L) 12 0.090±0.010
Low-dose (10 mg/L) 12 0.078±0.014
Untreated 12 0.083±0.009
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