An in vitro based investigation of the cytotoxic effect of water extracts of the Chinese herbal remedy LD on cancer cells
Shaun Willimott1, James Barker2, Lucy A. Jones1, Elizabeth I. Opara
School of Life Sciences, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE, UK School of Pharmacy and Chemistry, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE, UK
Long Dan Xie Gan Wan (LD), a Chinese herbal remedy formulation, is traditionally used to treat a range of conditions, including gall bladder diseases, hepatitis, hyperthyroidism, migraines but it is not used for the management or treatment of cancer. However some of its herbal constituents, specifically Radix bupleuri, Radix scutellariae and Rhizoma alismatis have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Thus, the aim of the study was to investigate the impact of LD on cancer cells in vitro.
Conclusion To the authors' knowledge, this is the first investigation to suggest that LD may elicit a cytotoxic action against cancer cell lines in vitro. The results of this investigation suggest that water extracts of LD are toxic to cancer cells in vitro, triggering apoptosis possibly as a result of inducing some form of genotoxic damage. However, preliminary chemical analysis of this CHR indicates that this cytotoxic activity is due to the actions of constituents other than those discussed above. One main reason for this is linked to the differences between the preparations used in the cytotoxicity studies reported in this paper [4,6,8,9,12-18] and that used in the current study i.e. a water extract of LD. However, the possibility that interactions between the constituents in this water extract may have influenced the results observed cannot be ruled out . In conclusion, based on the findings of this investigation, the water extract of LD appears to have some chemotherapeutic potential However, further studies are required to determine what constituents within this CHR are responsible for its cytotoxic action