Joseph Antony Reneese P, Ragavi M, Meganathan B and Sankar R
Andrographis paniculata plant extract is known to possess a variety of pharmacological activities. Andrographolide, the major constituent of the extract is implicated towards its pharmacological activity. We studied the cellular processes and targets modulated by andrographolide treatment in albino rats. Andrographolide treatment inhibited the in vitro proliferation of different tumour cell lines, representing various types of cancers. The compound exerts direct anticancer activity on cancer cells by cell-cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase through induction of cell-cycle inhibitory protein p27 and decreased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4). Immunostimulatory activity of andrographolide is evidenced by increased proliferation of lymphocytes and production of interleukin-2. Andrographolide also enhanced the tumour necrosis factor-alpha production and CD marker expression, resulting in the increased cytotoxic activity of lymphocytes against cancer cells, which may contribute to its indirect anticancer activity. The in vivo anticancer activity of the compound is further substantiated against nitrobenzene-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in albino rats. These results suggest that andrographolide is an interesting pharmacophore with anticancer and immunomodulatory activities and hence has the potential to be developed as a cancer therapeutic agent.
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