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Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2175-9790


MOTA, Mariana Flavia da; BENFICA, Polyana Lopes  and  VALADARES, Marize Campos. Synadenium umbellatum Pax. promotes cell cycle arrest and induces apoptosis in K-562 leukemia cells. Braz. J. Pharm. Sci. [online]. 2012, vol.48, n.3, pp.497-505. ISSN 2175-9790.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a clonal myeloproliferative disease that shows apoptosis resistance. The introduction of imatinib mesylate has revolutionized the treatment of CML, but imatinib resistance may develop at any time and inevitably leads to disease progression. Synadenium umbellatum Pax. belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family and is popularly used in Brazil for the treatment of cancer. The cytotoxicity of Euphorbiaceae is associated with the ability of these plants and their bioactive compounds to induce apoptotic tumor cell death. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the cytotoxicity and the mechanisms of death induced by S. umbellatum extract in leukemic cells. S. umbellatum cytotoxicity was evaluated by trypan blue exclusion assay and flow cytometric analysis of the cell cycle; the mechanisms involved in K-562 cell death were investigated by light microscopy and flow cytometry. The results demonstrate that S. umbellatum is cytotoxic to leukemic cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Morphological analysis revealed that S. umbellatum treatment induced K-562 cell death by an apoptotic pathway. Furthermore, data indicate ROS overproduction, alterations in mitochondrial membrane potential, phosphatidylserine externalization and activation of caspase 9. Taken together, the results demonstrate that S. umbellatum extract arrested the cell cycle and triggered apoptosis at several levels in K-562 cells.

Keywords : Synadenium umbellatum [pharmacognosy]; Synadenium umbellatum [cytotoxicity]; Synadenium umbellatum [evaluation]; K-562 cells [apoptosis]; K-562 cells [cycle arrest].

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