Colorectal Cancer
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2004. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Dec 1, 2004; 10(23): 3459-3463
Published online Dec 1, 2004. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v10.i23.3459
Honokiol: A potent chemotherapy candidate for human colorectal carcinoma
Fei Chen, Tao Wang, Yi-Feng Wu, Ying Gu, Xiao-Li Xu, Shu Zheng, Xun Hu
Fei Chen, Tao Wang, Ying Gu, Xiao-Li Xu, Shu Zheng, Xun Hu, Cancer Institute, Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310009, Zhejiang Province, China
Yi-Feng Wu, Life Science College, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, Zhejiang Province, China
Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to the work.
Supported by Cheung Kong Scholars Programme of National Ministry of Education, China, and Li Ka Shing Foundation, Hong Kong
Correspondence to: Professor Xun Hu, Cancer Institute, Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310009, Zhejiang province, China.
Telephone: +86-571-87783868 Fax: +86-571-87214404
Received: February 14, 2004
Revised: February 20, 2004
Accepted: February 24, 2004
Published online: December 1, 2004

AIM: To investigate the anticancer activity of Honokiol on RKO, a human colorectal carcinoma cell line in vitro and in vivo, and to evaluate its possible use in clinic.

METHODS: in vitro anticancer activity of honokiol was demonstrated by its induction of apoptosis in tumor cells. We analyzed cell proliferation with MTT assay, cell cycle with flow cytosmeter, DNA fragment with electrophoresis on agarose gels. To test the mechanism of honokiol-induced apoptosis, Western blotting was used to investigate the factors involved in this process. The pharmacokinetics study of honokiol was tested by high phase liquid chromatography. In in vivo study, Balb/c nude mice were incubated with RKO cells. Honokiol was injected intraperitoneally every other day into tumor bearing Balb/c nude mice.

RESULTS: Our results showed that honokiol induced apoptosis of RKO cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. At 5-10 ug/mL for 48 h, honokiol induced apoptosis through activating Caspase cascades. Pharmacokinetics study demonstrated that, honokiol could be absorbed quickly by intraperitoneal injection, and maintained in plasma for more than 10 h. In nude mice bearing RKO-incubated tumor, honokiol displayed anticancer activity by inhibiting tumor growth and prolonging the lifespan of tumor bearing mice.

CONCLUSION: With its few toxicity to normal cells and potent anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo, honokiol might be a potential chemotherapy candidate in treating human colorectal carcinoma.

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