Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Anti-tumor pharmacological evaluation of extracts from stellera chamaejasme L based on hollow fiber assay

Xiaoni Liu1, Qing Yang2, Ganlin Zhang2, Yujie Li2, Ying Chen2, Xiaogang Weng2, Yajie Wang2, Yiwei Wang2 and Xiaoxin Zhu2*

Author Affiliations

1 Beijing Institute of Hepatology and Beijing YouAn Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100069, China

2 Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, No 16 Nan Xiao Jie, Dong Zhi Men Nei, Dong Cheng Qu, Beijing, 100700, China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:116  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-116

Published: 31 March 2014



Stellera chamaejasme L, a traditional Chinese herb, has long been used for treatment of various tumors in the Chinese population. In our previous study, we paid an attention to the cytotoxic and proapoptotic effects of Stellera chamaejasme L extracts (ESC, ESC-1 and ESC-2, the latter two were isolated from ESC) on 4 various tumor cells (NCI-H157, NCI-H460, BEL-7402 and SK-HEP-1) in vitro. ESCs showed significantly inhibitory effects on the 4 tumor cells. ESC-2 had the strongest inhibitory effect and the broadest sensitive cell spectrum. ESC-2 and ESC acted in a similar way against tumor cells, which suggested anti-tumor active fraction of ESC might exist in ESC-2. Here, we further observe the inhibitory and proapoptotic effects of Stellera chamaejasme L extracts in vivo.


In this study, we used hollow fiber tumor model to evaluate the inhibitory and proapoptotic effects of Stellera chamaejasme L extracts. Apoptotic rates of the cancer cells retrieved from the hollow fibers were measured with flow cytometric analysis, caspase 3, 8, 9 enzyme activities were detected by colorimetric assay, Fas, Fas-L, TNF-R1 and TNF-α expression were determined with elisa assay and radioimmunoassay respectively.


The results showed that ESC, ESC-2 all had inhibitory effects on 4 tumor cells. According to the effect strength, dose and antitumor spectrum, the order of antitumor effects of ESCs was: ESC-2 > ESC > ESC-1. NCI-H460 cells were the most sensitive to ESCs. ESC, ESC-2 increased greatly the apoptotic rate and caspase 3, 8 enzyme activities in NCI-H460. ESCs had no significant effects on expression of Fas, Fas-L protein, but TNF-α/TNFR1 protein expression in NCI-H460 cells changed significantly after ESC and ESC-2 treatment.


ESC-2 had the similar antitumor effect to that of ESC in vivo and further confirmed that ESC-2 may be the main antitumor active fraction of ESC, which was consistent with our previous results in vitro.

Stellera chamaejasme L; Hollow fiber assay; Apoptosis; Caspase activity; Fas; TNF-α