Inhibition of Proliferation of Prostate Cancer Cell Line DU-145 in vitro and in vivo Using Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge

Chin J Integr Med. 2020 Jul;26(7):533-538. doi: 10.1007/s11655-017-2801-5. Epub 2017 Mar 23.


Objective: To investigate the antiproliferative activity of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge. (SM) on the castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cell line DU-145, in vitro and in vivo.

Methods: Prostate cancer cell line (DU-145) and normal prostate cell line (RWPE-1) were treated with SM at different concentrations (3.125, 12.5, 25 and 50 μg/mL) to investigate the antiproliferative effects. DNA laddering analysis was performed to investigate the apoptosis of DU-145 cells. Molecular mechanism was investigated by Western blot analysis of p53, Bcl-2, prostate specific antigen (PSA), and androgen receptor (AR). Six-week-old male BALB/c nude mice were randomly divided into normal control group (n=101) and treated group (n=101) which administered 500 mg/kg SM for 2 weeks. Tumor volumes were measured.

Results: Treatment with SM resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in cell number of DU-145 cells in comparison with RWPE-1. DNA laddering analysis indicated the apoptosis of DU-145 cells. Treatment with SM increased the expression of p53 and reduced the expression of Bcl-2 proteins. The levels of PSA were considerably reduced in SM-treated group compared to the controls, and a decrease in AR expression was observed when cells were treated with SM in the same pattern as a reduction in PSA. In the tumour xenograft study, SM given once a day for 2 weeks significantly inhibited tumour growth.

Conclusion: SM might contribute to the anticancer actions such as induction of apoptosis and inhibition of proliferation of prostate cancer cells.

Keywords: Chinese medicine; Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge.; apoptosis; prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Salvia miltiorrhiza*


  • Plant Extracts