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AIM: Fructus phyllanthi tannin fraction (PTF) from the traditional Tibetan medicine Fructus phyllanthi has been found to inhibit lung and liver carcinoma in mice. In this study we investigated the anticancer mechanisms of PTF in human lung squamous carcinoma cells in vitro.METHODS: Human lung squamous carcinoma cell line (NCI-H1703), human large-cell lung cancer cell line (NCI-H460), human lung adenocarcinoma cell line (A549) and human fibrosarcoma cell line (HT1080) were tested. Cell viability was detected with MTT assay. Cell migration and invasion were assessed using a wound healing assay and a transwell chemotaxis chambers assay, respectively. Cell apoptosis was analyzed with flow cytometric analysis. The levels of apoptosis-related and metastasis-related proteins were detected by Western blot and immunofluorescence. RESULTS: PTF dose-dependently inhibited the viability of the 3 human lung cancer cells. The IC50 values of PTF in inhibition of NCI-H1703, NCI-H460, and A549 cells were 33, 203, and 94 mg/L, respectively. PTF (15, 30, and 60 mg/L) dose-dependently induced apoptosis of NCI-H1703 cells. Treatment of NCI-H1703 and HT1080 cells with PTF significantly inhibited cell migration, and reduced the number of invasive cells through Matrigel. Furthermore, PTF dose-dependently down-regulated the expression of phosphor-ERK1/2, MMP-2 and MMP-9, up-regulated the expression of phosphor-JNK, but had no significant effect on the expression of ERK1/2 or JNK. CONCLUSION: PTF induces cell apoptosis and inhibits the migration and invasion of NCI-H1703 cells by decreasing MPPs expression through regulation of the MAPK pathway.

Sub-acute and chronic toxic effects of total steroidal saponins (TSSN) extracts from Dioscorea zingiberensis C.H. Wright on various internal organs and biochemical indicators have never been studied before and this study is the first of its kind to demonstrate sub-acute and chronic toxicities of TSSN on dogs. Administration of TSSN extracts at doses up to 3000 mg/Kg daily for 14 days, no biochemical and organ changes were observed on the experimental groups of dogs. Further, chronic toxicity study through oral administration of TSSN extracts at the gradual doses of 50, 250 and 500 mg/Kg for 90 days followed by a 2-week recovery assay revealed absence of significant architectural and morphological changes in internal organs which were confirmed through histopathological examination and merely no significant alteration in the biochemical indicators including hematologic and urine analysis and electrocardiogram compared to the control dogs. This toxicological evaluation came across with the finding that the herbal preparation can be considered as nontoxic and animals could tolerate the extracts at doses up to 500 mg/Kg with LD50 greater than 3000 mg/Kg. It may serve as a preliminary scientific evidence for further therapeutic investigations.