Antitumor effects and chemical compositions of Eupolyphaga sinensis Walker ethanol extract

J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 May 7;141(1):178-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.02.016. Epub 2012 Feb 17.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Eupolyphaga sinensis Walker popularly known as "preferred drug to regulate blood flow" are traditionally used in folk medicine in the treatment of ecchymoma, posttraumatic wound, hepatic fibrosis and tumor.

Aim of the study: To characterize chemical compositions and to evaluate the antitumor and immunomodulatory of Eupolyphaga sinensis Walker ethanol extract (ESEE) in hepatocarcinoma H(22) bearing mice.

Materials and methods: ESEE was obtained by ethanol reflux extraction and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) after methylation. ICR mice were treated with ESEE for 14 consecutive days at doses of 31mg/kg (low-dose), 62mg/kg (mid-dose) and 124mg/kg (high-dose) after H(22) tumor cells were implanted. At the end of the experiments, the tumor weight of each mouse was measured. Levels of serum TNF-α and IFN-γ was assayed by ELISA. Protein expressions of Bax, Bcl-2 and caspases-3 were detected by immunohistochemistry.

Results: Chemical analysis revealed the presence of 6 components that account for 97.55% of fatty acids, indicating the occurrence of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Oral administration of ESEE could inhibit tumor growth, promote Th1 type cytokine productions (TNF-α and IFN-γ) and induce apoptosis of hepatocarcinoma via increase of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and activation of caspases-3. Oral administration of ESEE in a dosage of 6.2g/kg did not lead to toxic effects in mice.

Conclusions: ESEE was effective in inhibiting tumor growth in vivo and could also serve as immunoadjuvant for tumor therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / chemistry
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / isolation & purification
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / blood
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chemical Fractionation
  • Cockroaches* / chemistry
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / isolation & purification
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Ethanol / chemistry*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Liver Neoplasms / blood
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / immunology
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Solvents / chemistry*
  • Th1 Cells / drug effects
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Burden / drug effects
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Bax protein, mouse
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Plant Extracts
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Solvents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Ethanol
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Casp3 protein, mouse
  • Caspase 3