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Open Access Research article

Anti-tumor effect of Liqi, a traditional Chinese medicine prescription, in tumor bearing mice

Deng-Bo Ji1, Jia Ye1*, Yi-Min Jiang2 and Bo-Wen Qian3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, 100191, PR China

2 Medical and Healthy Analysis Center, Peking University, Beijing, 100191, PR China

3 Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Chinese Traditional Medicine, Shanghai, 201203, PR China

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009, 9:20  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-9-20

Published: 1 July 2009



Liqi, an herbal preparation used in traditional Chinese medicine, has been used to treat cancer in China for centuries. We investigated the anti-tumor effects of liqi and their mechanisms in mice that had been xenografted with tumors.


Sarcoma 180 tumor, Lewis lung carcinoma, and SGC-7901 cells were implanted in BALB/c mice, C57BL/6 mice, and BALB/c nude mice, respectively. Liqi was administered to subgroups of these mice. The tumor weight and size were measured. Cell cycle analysis and T lymphocyte subsets were determined by flow cytometry. The activity of NK cells and TNF was tested using cytotoxicity assay on YAC-1 cells and L929 cells, respectively, and the activity of IL-2 was tested with an IL-2-dependent CTLL-2 cell proliferation assay. Platelet aggregation was monitored by measuring electric impedance, and the levels of thromboxane A2 (TXA2) and prostacyclin (PGI2) in blood were measured by 125I-TXB2 and 125I-Keto-PGFradioimmunoassay.


The results showed that liqi inhibited tumor growth in tumor-implanted mice and arrested the cell proliferation in the G0/G1 phase and reduced the portion of cells in S and G2/M phase for SGC-7901 cells. Liqi increased the activity of NK cells and TNF-α, stimulated IL-2 production and activity, and regulated T lymphocyte subpopulations. Liqi inhibited the Lewis lung carcinoma metastasis by inhibiting platelet aggregation and normalizing the balance between TXA2 and PGI2.


All these findings demonstrated that liqi has an anti-tumor effect in vivo. The mechanism may be related to immune regulation and anticoagulation effects.