Hepatocellular Carcinoma Growth Is Inhibited by Euphorbia helioscopia L. Extract in Nude Mice Xenografts

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:601015. doi: 10.1155/2015/601015. Epub 2015 May 18.


Euphorbia helioscopia L. is a traditional Chinese medicine; recently research found that its ethyl acetate extract (EAE) plays an important role on tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and metastasis in vitro. But the effect of EAE for tumor cells in vivo has not been reported. To explore the inhibitory effect of EAE and molecular mechanism on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) SMMC-7721 cells in vivo, we utilized the nude mouse xenograft model of HCC. Treated with EAE (50, 100, and 200 μg/mL), the volume of xenograft was measured during the entire process of EAE treatment. In EAE treatment group, the volume of xenograft was significantly reduced compared with the control group (P < 0.05) and the protein expressions of CyclinD1, bcl-2, and MMP-9 were reduced, while those of bax, caspase-3, and nm23-H1 were increased. A significant change trend with increasing EAE concentrations has presented, compared with controls. Moreover, the ultrastructural morphology of xenografts showed significant changes, including nuclear pyknosis and chromatin condensation, We found that EAE could effectively inhibit tumor growth, induce apoptosis, and inhibit tumor invasion and metastasis in vivo; it is suggested that EAE is a potential candidate for as a new anticancer agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Euphorbia / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Plant Extracts