Evaluation of the effects of androgenic Chinese herbal medicines on androgen receptors and tumor growth in experimental prostate cancer models
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AbstractEthnopharmacological relevance
Many prostate cancer (PCa) patients in Mainland China and other Asian countries often use Chinese herbal medicines as an adjuvant treatment while receiving Western medicines. However, concerns have been raised about the potential herb-drug interaction when using herbal medicines containing phytoandrogens.

Aim of the study
This study aimed to investigate the effects of the selected 21 Chinese herbal medicines on the proliferation and tumor growth using the relevant in vitro and in vivo models of PCa.

Materials and methods
After treatment of LNCaP and 22Rv1 cells with different concentrations of 70% ethanol extracts of the 21 selected herbal medicines for 48 h, the proliferative activity, the effects on androgen receptor (AR) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) were determined. The anti-tumor effects of the 21 herbs on PCa growth were also investigated on a subcutaneous mouse model of PCa.

Results
The results showed that Epimedii Folium (EF) and Codonopsis Radix (CNR) could significantly increase the cell viability in LNCaP cells (p < 0.05 for both) and 22Rv1 cells (p < 0.05 for both), protein expressions of AR in LNCaP cells (p < 0.05 for both) and 22Rv1 cells (p < 0.05 for both), and PSA (p < 0.05 for both) in LNCaP cells. EF, CNR, and Cistanches Herba (CCH) markedly accentuated the tumor growth (p < 0.05 for three drugs) and AR expression (p < 0.05 for three herbs) in tumor tissues. On the other hand, treatment with Astragali Radix (AGR), Chuanxiong Rhizoma (CXR) and Bruceae Fructus (BF) significantly inhibited the cell viability in LNCaP cells (p < 0.05, p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively) and in 22Rv1 cells (p < 0.05, p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively), and the protein expression of AR in LNCaP cells (p < 0.05 for three herbs) and 22Rv1 cells (p < 0.05, p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively), and the protein expression of PSA (p < 0.05 for three herbs) in LNCaP cells, as well as tumor growth (p < 0.05 for three herbs) and the AR expression (p < 0.05 for AGR and CXR, p < 0.001 for BF) in tumor tissues.

Conclusion
Our results revealed that AGR, CXR and BF suppressed the PCa development via inhibition of AR expression, while EF, CNR and CCH promoted the development and progression of PCa via enhancement of AR expression. The results strongly suggest that caution should be exercised when using androgenic Chinese herbal medicines in PCa patients.
All Author(s) ListZhang ZB, Ip SP, Shing Cho WC, Hu Z, Huang YF, Luo DD, Xian YF, Lin ZX
Journal nameJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Year2020
Month10
Volume Number260
PublisherElsevier Ireland
Article number113058
ISSN0378-8741
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2021-23-09 at 23:47