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Growth inhibition effects of artesunate on human cervical cancer cell line HeLa

WANG Ming-hua1,ZHENG Jun-sheng2,LUO Yun-peng3,MI Can1(1Department of Pathology,3Department of Pathophysiology,Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences,Chongqing Medical University,Chongqing 400016;2Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics,The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University,Guangzhou 510630,China)  
Objective To investigate the effects of artesunate on human cervical cancer cell line HeLa.Methods The inhibitory effect on cell proliferation was assessed by MTT assay.Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescent staining were applied to demonstrate the presence of apoptosis.Cell cycle,reactive oxygen species(ROS) levels and mitochondrial membrane potential(ΔΨm) were examined by flow cytometry,respectively.Expression of caspase-3 was detected by immunohistochemical methods.Results Growth inhibition of ART on HeLa cells was time-and dose-dependent.Apoptotic feature was observed by transmission electron microscopy and fluorescent staining.The blocking of the cell cycle was in S-phase.The expression of caspase-3 in cytoplasm was positive.The generation of ROS increased obviously(P0.01) after ART treated the cells for 72 h,while the levels of ΔΨm were decreased(P0.05).Conclusion Artesunate inhibits the proliferation of HeLa cells,which action may be related to increasing of the cellular ROS level and decreasing of mitochondrial member potential,resulting in cell apoptosis.
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