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Open Access Research article

Modulation of growth and angiogenic potential of oral squamous carcinoma cells in vitro using salvianolic acid B

Ya Yang1, Ping J Ge2, Long Jiang1, Feng L Li1 and Qin Y Zhu1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General Dentistry, Ninth People's Hospital, School of Stomatology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Stomatology, 639 Zhi Zao Ju Road, Shanghai, 200011, China

2 Department of Endodontics, Tongji Hospital of Stomatology, Tongji University, 399 Middle Yanchang Road, Shanghai, 200072, China

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:54  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-54

Published: 5 July 2011

Abstract

Background

Our previous studies showed that Salvianolic acid B (Sal B) inhibited 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced oral carcinogenesis in hamsters and such anti-cancer effects might be related to the inhibition of angiogenesis. This study was aimed to further investigate the anti-proliferative effect of Sal B on the most common type of oral cancer, oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and the possible mechanisms of action with respect to angiogenesis inhibition.

Methods

Two well-characterized oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines, CAL27 and SCC4, and premalignant leukoplakia cells were treated with different concentrations of Sal B. Cytotoxicity was assessed by MTT assay. cDNA microarray was utilized to evaluate the expression of 96 genes known to be involved in modulating the biological processes of angiogenesis. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis was conducted to confirm the cDNA microarray data.

Results

Sal B induced growth inhibition in OSCC cell lines but had limited effects on premalignant cells. A total of 17 genes showed a greater than 3-fold change when comparing Sal B treated OSCC cells to the control. Among these genes, HIF-1α, TNFα and MMP9 are specifically inhibited, expression of THBS2 was up-regulated.

Conclusions

Sal B has inhibitory effect on OSCC cell growth. The antitumor effect can be attributed to anti-angiogenic potential induced by a decreased expression of some key regulator genes of angiogenesis. Sal B may be a promising modality for treating oral squamous cell carcinoma.