Sika deer (Cervus nippon) velvet antler extract attenuates prostate cancer in xenograft model

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2019 Feb;83(2):348-356. doi: 10.1080/09168451.2018.1537775. Epub 2018 Oct 31.


The present study determines whether antler extract (AE) possesses inhibitory effects in a prostate cancer (PC) xenograft model and explores the underlying mechanism. After therapeutic intervention for two weeks, AE significantly inhibited prostate cancer xenograft tumor growth by 65.08%, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and serum dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. However, AE increased the serum testosterone level compared to the vehicle control group. Furthermore, our investigation of the inhibitory effects on angiogenesis and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related genes revealed that AE downregulated matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP)-2, (MMP)-9, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), zinc finger protein (SNAIL1), twist-related protein 1 (TWIST1), and zinc-finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) in vivo. In contrast, AE increased tissue inhibitor of MMP (TIMP)-1, (TIMP)-2, and E-cadherin. The results suggest that AE possesses potent anti-PC activity, and this is the first report on the anti-PC effect of AE in vivo.

Keywords: Antler; angiogenesis; epithelial to mesenchymal transition; prostate cancer; xenograft model.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antlers / chemistry*
  • Deer
  • Dihydrotestosterone / blood
  • Down-Regulation
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Heterografts*
  • Humans
  • Kallikreins / blood
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Testosterone
  • KLK3 protein, human
  • Kallikreins
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen