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Salvia miltiorrhiza extract dihydrotanshinone induces apoptosis and inhibits proliferation of glioma cells

Yong Cao, Bin Huang, Changqing Gao


Dihydrotanshinone, a functional food in China, is an effective anti-cardiovascular disease substance isolated from Salvia miltiorrhiza (S. miltiorrhiza). Glioma is considered to be fatal due to its poor prognosis and few effective therapeutic options. In this study, we investigated the anticancer effects of S. miltiorrhiza extract dihydrotanshinone on human glioma SHG-44 cells, by using 3-(4, 5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2, 5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide assay, Hoechst 33258 nuclear staining, Annexin V/propidium iodide double staining, as well as western blot analysis. The results showed that dihydrotanshinone effectively suppressed SHG-44 cells proliferation and induced apoptosis in both dose- and time-dependent manner. Moreover, we demonstrated that dihydrotanshinone increased the activation of caspases (caspase-3 and caspase-9) and the release of cytochrome c in SHG-44 cells. Overall, dihydrotanshinone could induce apoptosis and inhibit proliferation of glioma cells by regulating caspases and cytochrome c. This study suggests that dihydrotanshinone may serve as a potential treatment option for patients with glioma.


Dihydrotanshinone; glioma; SHG-44 cells; cell apoptosis; cell proliferation; MTT assay

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