Background: Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant found in grapes that inhibits several types of cancer, including lung cancer. Herein, we investigated the effects of pterostilbene, an analog of resveratrol found in blueberries, on lung cancer, in vitro. We hypothesized that pterostilbene would inhibit lung cancer cell growth in vitro by a pro-apoptotic mechanism.
Methods: Two lung cancer cell lines (NCI-H460 and SK-MES-1) were cultured using standard techniques. Cells were treated with increasing doses of pterostilbene (10-100 microM). Cell viability was measured at 24, 48, and 72h using a MTT assay. Apo-ONE Caspase-3/7 assay was used to evaluate caspase activity. T-test and two-way ANOVA were used for statistical analysis.
Results: Pterostilbene significantly decreased cell viability in lung cancer cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner (P<0.001). Concentrations greater than 20 microM of pterostilbene produced significant growth inhibition by 72h (P<0.001). Apoptosis and caspase-3/7 activity were significantly increased by pterostilbene treatment (P<0.05).
Conclusions: Pterostilbene inhibits growth via apoptosis induction in vitro. Further in vitro mechanistic studies and in vivo experiments are warranted to determine the potential role for pterostilbene in lung cancer treatment or prevention.
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