[Effect of apigenin on proliferation and apoptosis of human lung cancer NCI-H460 cells]

Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2013 Aug;33(8):1137-40.
[Article in Chinese]


Objective: To study the effect of apigenin on the proliferation and apoptosis of human lung cancer cell line NCI-H460.

Methods: NCI-H460 cells were cultured with different concentrations of apigenin, and MTT assay was used to evaluate the cell inhibition rates. Apoptosis of NCI-H460 cells was observed under a fluorescence microscope with Hoechst 33258 staining and quantified by flow cytometry using annexin V-FITC/PI stain. The expressions of apoptosis-related proteins Bax, Bcl-2 and caspase-3 were analyzed by Western blotting.

Results: Apigenin causes concentration- and time-dependent inhibition of the proliferation of the cells. NCI-H460 cells treated with apigenin showed significant morphological changes of apoptosis, and the cell apoptotic rates increased as apigenin concentration increased. Western blotting demonstrated that apigenin increased the protein levels of Bax and caspase-3 and reduced the protein expression of Bcl-2.

Conclusion: Apigenin can inhibit the proliferation and induce apoptosis of NCI-H460 cells possibly by up-regulating expression of Bax and caspase-3 and down-regulating the expression of Bcl-2.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apigenin / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • BAX protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Apigenin
  • CASP3 protein, human
  • Caspase 3