Purpose: We previously reported that polyphyllin D, a main component of the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Paris polyphylla, exhibited anticancer effects in vitro against human neuroblastoma cells. The aims of this investigation was to examine the presence or absence of in vivo anti-metastasis effects of polyphyllin D were to establish a liver metastasis model of neuroblastoma and to evaluate the anti-metastasis effects of polyphyllin D. Methods: Subcutaneous and intraperitoneal tumors, and metastasis models were established in immune-deficient BALB/c nude and BALB/c Rag-2/Jak3 double-deficient (BRJ) mice using the human neuroblastoma cell lines IMR-32, LA–N-2, or NB-69. For evaluating polyphyllin D activity, we used a mouse model of liver metastasis with the IMR-32 cells line injected through the tail vein. We analyzed the livers number and area of liver tumors in of the phosphate buffer solution- and polyphyllin D-treated groups. Results: Liver metastasis and intraperitoneal dissemination models were successfully established in immune-deficient BRJ mice using the three human neuroblastoma cell lines. In the liver metastasis, the model of IMR-32 cells, we found that polyphyllin D suppressed both the number and total area of metastatic foci the average number of metastatic foci, average focus areas, and number of cleaved caspase-3-positive cells were significantly lower in the polyphyllin D group (p = 0.016, 0.020, 0.043, respectively). Conclusions: We developed a mouse models of neuroblastoma metastasis and demonstrated for the first time that polyphyllin D has an antitumor effect on neuroblastoma liver metastases.
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