Dihydroartiminisin inhibits the growth and metastasis of epithelial ovarian cancer

Oncol Rep. 2012 Jan;27(1):101-8. doi: 10.3892/or.2011.1505. Epub 2011 Oct 13.


Dihydroartiminisin (DHA), the active component of a Chinese herb (Artemisia annua), has been utilised as an anti-malarial drug since ancient China. DHA has also been shown to inhibit proliferation of cancer in vitro. However, the capacity of DHA to inhibit the development of ovarian cancer is still unclear. The adhesion, invasion, and migration of human ovarian cancer cell line (HO8910PM) was determined following DHA treatment in vitro, using Matrigel coated plate, transwell membrane chamber, and wound healing models, respectively. A mouse ovarian cancer model was established by orthotopic inoculation of HO8910PM cell line in nude mice. The growth and metastasis in vivo was determined 8 weeks post-implantation in response to DHA treatment. The expression of phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase (pFAK) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) was evaluated using Western blotting. The expression of Von Willebrand factor (vWF) and infiltration of macrophages were determined, using immunohistochemistry. DHA inhibits ovarian cancer cell proliferation, adhesion, migration and invasion in vitro in a dose-dependent manner, consistent with decreased expression of pFAK and MMP-2, but not MMP-9. DHA inhibited metastasis significantly in vivo, associated with reduced vWF expression and macrophage infiltration. In conclusion, DHA inhibits the development of ovarian cancer, in part via down-regulating pFAK, MMP-2, vWF and macrophage infiltration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Artemisinins / pharmacology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Artemisinins
  • dihydroartemisinin
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2