The fruit of the greater burdock plant (Arctium lappa), referred to as niu bang zi or Arctii Fructus (AF) in traditional Chinese medicine, has been shown to prevent the spread of colorectal cancer cells, according to a study in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. In their research, a team from Wonkwang University in South Korea investigated the pharmacological effects of AF in vitro.
Despite its multiple health benefits, no studies have been made to explore the anti-inhibitory activity of AF on colorectal cancer cells.
Researchers looked at whether AF could inhibit cell growth, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), migration, and the invasion ability of colorectal cancer cells.
Using in vitro tests, researchers found that AF was able to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis using extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways. This led to a decrease in colorectal cancer cell proliferation.
In terms of AF's ability to inhibit metastasis, researchers found that it increased the expression of E-cadherin, an epithelial marker, and decreased the expression of the mesenchymal marker, N-cadherin, in CT26 cells.
AF also inhibited matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 activity, decreasing the invasion and migration of CT26 cells. This decrease in MMP-9 activity and invasion ability was associated with AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation.
The researchers concluded that AF can be used to inhibit the proliferation and metastasis of colorectal cancer cells.
Learn more about natural ways to prevent colorectal cancer at Cancer.news.
Han YH, Kee JY, Kim DS, Mun JG, Park SH, Kim YJ, Um JY, Hong SH. ARCTII FRUCTUS INHIBITS COLORECTAL CANCER CELL PROLIFERATION AND MMPS MEDIATED INVASION VIA AMPK. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 22 August 2017;45(06):1309–1325. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X17500720