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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2008, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (7): 720-724.doi: 10.3736/jcim20080712

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Scutellaria barbata extract enhances efficacy and reduces toxicity of chemotherapy in hepatoma H22-bearing mice

Zhi-jun Dai1(), Xi-jing Wang1, Zong-zheng Ji2, Zong-fang Li2, Wei Tang3, Hua-feng Kang1, Xiao-bin Ma1, Lei Liu1   

  1. 1. Department of Oncology,Second Hospital,School of Medicine,Xi’an Jiaotong University,Xi’an,Shannxi Province 710004, China;
    2. Department of General Surgery, Second Hospital, School of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University,Xi’an,Shannxi Province 710004, China;
    3. Department of Life Science, Shannxi Normal University, Xi'an, Shannxi Province 710062, China
  • Received:2007-10-13 Online:2008-07-20 Published:2008-07-15
  • Contact: DAI Zhi-jun

Objective: To study the assistant effect of Scutellaria barbata extract (ESB) in 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) chemotherapy.
Methods: A mouse model of transplanted hepatoma H22 was used in this study to evaluate the synergic and attenuating effects of ESB in chemotherapy. Tumor inhibition rate, life span of mice and the toxicity of chemotherapy were observed. The body weight, tumor weight, thymus index and spleen index in H22-bearing mice were also measured. The phagocytotic function of macrophages was studied by observing phagocytiz-ation of peritoneal macrophages.
Results: The increase of body weight in 5-FU plus ESB groups was higher than that in 5-FU group, and the side effects such as anorexia, abdominal distention and athrepsy were relieved. Compared with untreated group, prolonged lifetime in 5-FU plus high-dose ESB group and 5-FU plus low-dose ESB group was improved. Life prolongation rates in 5-FU plus high-dose ESB group and 5-FU plus low-dose ESB group were 61.46% and 23.59% respectively. High-dose ESB, 5-FU, 5-FU plus low-dose ESB and 5-FU plus high-dose ESB could inhibit the tumor growth, and the tumor inhibition rates were 36.98%, 42.26%, 52.45% and 65.28%, respectively. Thymus index and spleen index were increased significantly in 5-FU plus low-dose ESB group and 5-FU plus high-dose ESB group. White blood cell (WBC) count was decreased obviously in 5-FU group, while the count of WBC was increased in 5-FU plus low-dose ESB group and 5-FU plus high-dose ESB group. The phagocytotic function of macrophages was also increased in 5-FU plus low-dose ESB group and 5-FU plus high-dose ESB group.
Conclusion: ESB can enhance the effect of chemotherapy, relieve the side effects and improve immune function of mice in chemotherapy. These results suggest that ESB, as a biochemical modulator to enhance the therapeutic effects, is useful in cancer chemotherapy.

Key words: Scutellaria barbata, liver cancer, immunity, chemotherapy, mice

CLC Number: 

  • R735.7

Table 1

Effect of ESB on body weight in H22 solid tumor-bearing mice ($\bar{x}$±s, g)"

Group n Body weight
Pre-treatment Post-treatment Variation of body weight
Normal control 10 20.03±1.94 24.12±2.02 4.09±2.32
Untreated 10 20.03±2.07 23.50±3.24 3.47±3.82
Low-dose ESB 10 20.00±1.94 24.52±1.82 4.52±3.93
High-dose ESB 10 20.01±2.10 25.15±2.13 5.14±3.76△▲
5-FU 10 19.96±2.03 20.74±1.86 0.78±1.93
5-FU plus low-dose ESB 10 20.00±2.13 22.46±1.92 2.46±1.62
5-FU plus high-dose ESB 10 19.98±2.05 24.33±2.05 4.35±3.25△▲

Table 2

Effects of ESB on life-prolonging rate and tumor inhibition rate in H22-bearing mice ($\bar{x}$±s )"

Group n Ascites tumor-bearing mice Solid tumor-bearing mice
Survival time (d) Life-prolonging rate (%) Tumor weight (g) Tumor inhibition rate (%)
Normal control 10
Untreated 10 16.32±4.92 2.65±1.12
Low-dose ESB 10 18.47±5.23 13.17 2.27±0.93 14.34
High-dose ESB 10 24.65±5.80△▲ 51.04 1.67±0.76 36.98
5-FU 10 13.26±4.15 -3.72 1.53±0.64 42.26
5-FU plus low-dose ESB 10 20.17±4.54 23.59 1.26±0.45 52.45
5-FU plus high-dose ESB 10 26.35±5.65△▲ 61.46 0.92±0.58△▲ 65.28

Table 3

Effects of ESB on thymus index, spleen index and WBC count in H22 solid tumor-bearing mice ($\bar{x}$±s )"

Group n Thymus index (mg/g) Spleen index (mg/g) White blood cell count (109/L)
Normal control 10 3.64±2.03 5.67±2.37 9.08±0.74
Untreated 10 2.47±0.68* 3.82±2.32* 8.78±0.68
Low-dose ESB 10 2.62±1.54 4.25±1.92 8.82±0.59
High-dose ESB 10 3.65±2.36△▲ 5.44±3.06△▲ 9.16±0.70
5-FU 10 1.43±0.56 2.92±1.73 5.15±0.52
5-FU plus low-dose ESB 10 2.55±1.32 3.96±1.65 7.62±0.64
5-FU plus high-dose ESB 10 3.16±2.15 4.72±2.02 8.47±0.58

Table 4

Effect of ESB on phagocytotic function of macrophages in H22 solid tumor-bearing mice ($\bar{x}$±s )"

Group n Phagocytizing rate (%) Phagocytizing index
Normal control 10 45.83±3.33 0.94±0.04
Untreated 10 38.52±3.16 0.73±0.04
Low-dose ESB 10 41.32±3.05 0.79±0.05
High-dose ESB 10 47.46±3.55△▲ 0.93±0.06△▲
5-FU 10 22.47±2.12 0.49±0.03
5-FU plus low-dose ESB 10 32.35±2.53 0.71±0.06
5-FU plus high-dose ESB 10 40.12±3.68 0.89±0.05
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