Swainsonine promotes apoptosis in human oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo through activation of mitochondrial pathway
Swainsonine, a natural indolizidine alkaloid, has been reported to have antitumour effects, and can induce apoptosis in human gastric and lung cancer cells. In the present study, we evaluated the antitumour effects of swainsonine on several oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells and investigated relative molecular mechanisms. Swainsonine treatment inhibited the growth of Eca-109, TE-1 and TE-10 cells in a concentration-dependent manner as measured by MTT assay. Morphological observation, DNA laddering detection and flow cytometry analysis demonstrated that swainsonine treatment induced Eca-109 cell apoptosis in vitro. Further results showed that swainsonine treatment up-regulated Bax, down-regulated Bcl-2 expression, triggered Bax translocation to mitochondria, destructed mitochondria integrity and activated mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway, followed by the release of cytochrome c, which in turn activated caspase-9 and caspase-3, promoted the cleavage of PARP, resulting in Eca-109 cell apoptosis. Moreover, swainsonine treatment inhibited Bcl-2 expression, promoted Bax translocation, cytochrome c release and caspase-3 activation in xenograft tumour cells, resulting in a significant decrease of tumour volume and tumour weight in the swainsonine-treated xenograft mice groups compared with that in the control group. Taken together, this study demonstrated that swainsonine inhibited Eca-109 cells growth through activation of mitochondria-mediated caspase-dependent pathway.
Volume 46, 2021
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