Background: Andrographolide (Andro) is a diterpenoid component of the plant Andrographis paniculata that is known for its anti-tumor activity against a variety of cancer cells. Methods: We studied the effects of Andro on the viability of the human leukemia monocytic cell line THP-1 and the human multiple myeloma cell line H929. Andro was compared with cytosine arabinoside (Ara-C) and vincristine (VCR), which are well-established therapeutics against hematopoietic tumors. Results: Andro reduced the viability of THP-1 and H929 in a dose-dependent manner. H929 viability was highly susceptible to Andro, although only slightly susceptible to Ara-C. The agents Andro, Ara-C, and VCR each induced apoptosis, as shown by cellular shrinkage, DNA fragmentation, and increases in annexin V-binding, caspase-3/7 activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and mitochondrial membrane depolarization. The apoptotic activities of Andro were largely suppressed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), an inhibitor of ROS production, whereas NAC hardly affected the apoptotic activities of Ara-C and VCR. Furthermore, whereas Ara-C and VCR increased the percentages of cells in the G0/G1 and G2/M phases, respectively, Andro showed little or no detectable effect on cell cycle progression. Conclusions: Andro induces ROS-dependent apoptosis in monocytic leukemia THP-1 and multiple myeloma H929 cells, underlining its potential as a therapeutic agent for treating hematopoietic tumors. Notably, the high sensitivity of H929 cells is encouraging for further studies on the use of Andro against multiple myeloma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)