Rhizoma corydalis and rhizoma curcumae

Monday, 04/11/2013  |   Others  |  no comments


Synergy analysis of anticancer agents is an important approach to determining the ratio and/or dose of drugs for clinical combination therapy. However, this method is rarely used to evaluate the composition of traditional Chinese medicine formulation. ‘Yanhusuo San’ (YHSS), which consists of yanhusuo (Rhizoma Corydalis) and Ezhu (Rhizoma Curcumae), has been an archaic Chinese medicine prescription since the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD). Gao et al., (2008) previously demonstrated that either yanhusuo or ezhu has strong anticancer effect. 

Herein, Gao et al., (2009) sought to determine the possible synergic effect between these two Chinese herbs. They measured the IC50 of each herb extract and both extracts at different ratios of doses by MTT assay. Isobologram and combination index (CI) analyses were used to evaluate the synergistic effect of yanhusuo and ezhu in different fixed ratios. Results indicated that a combination of two herbal extracts exhibits the strongest anticancer cell proliferation effect at the ratio of 3:2 (ezhu to yanhusuo; referred to as E3Y2). 

Using Boyden Chamber assay, flow cytometry, and fluorescence microscopy analysis, we found that E3Y2 could markedly reduce the cell invasion ability and induce cytochrome c release rather than single use, but E3Y2 could not influence the cell cycle distribution. When the levels of ERK1/2, p-ERK1/2 and p-Rb were determined by Western blot analysis, we found that the E3Y2 significantly suppresses the level of p-ERK. Thus, our studies provide a plausible molecular basis of the synergistic anti-tumor effect of ezhu and yanhusuo.

Gao JL, Shi JM, He K, et al. 2008 Yanhusuo extract inhibits metastasis of breast cancer cells by modulating mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways. Oncol Rep. 2008 Oct;20(4):819-24.

Gao JL, He TC, Li YB, Wang YT. 2009 A traditional Chinese medicine formulation consisting of Rhizoma Corydalis and Rhizoma Curcumae exerts synergistic anti-tumor activity. Oncol Rep. 2009 Nov;22(5):1077-83.

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