Baicalin Induces Apoptosis in Leukemia HL-60/ADR Cells via Possible Down-regulation of the PI3K/Akt Signaling Pathway


Background: The effect and possible mechanism of traditional Chinese medicine, baicalin, on the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in drug-resistant human myeloid leukemia HL-60/ADR cells have been investigated inthis current study.
Methods: HL-60/ADR cells were treated by 20, 40, 80 μmol/L baicalin followed by cell cycleanalysis at 24h. The mRNA expression level of the apoptosis related gene, Bcl-2 and bad, were measured byRT-PCR on cells treated with 80 μmol/L baicalin at 12, 24 and 48hr. Western blot was performed to detect thechanges in the expression of the proteins related to HL-60/ADR cell apoptosis and the signaling pathway beforeand after baicalin treatment, including Bcl-2, PARP, Bad, Caspase 3, Akt, p-Akt, NF-κB, p-NF-κB, mTOR andp-mTOR.
Results: Sub-G1 peak of HL-60/ADR cells appeared 24 h after 20 μmol/L baicalin treatment, andthe ratio increased as baicalin concentration increased. Cell cycle analysis showed 44.9% G0/G1 phase cells24 h after baicalin treatment compared to 39.6% in the control group. Cells treated with 80 μmol/L baicalindisplayed a trend in decreasing of Bcl-2 mRNA expression over time. Expression level of the Bcl-2 and PARPproteins decreased significantly while that of the PARP, Caspase-3, and Bad proteins gradually increased. Nosignificant difference in Akt expression was observed between treated and the control groups. However, theexpression levels of p-Akt, NF-κB, p-NF-κB, mTOR and p-mTOR decreased significantly in a time-dependentmanner.
Conclusions: We conclude that baicalin may induce HL-60/ADR cell apoptosis through the PI3K/AKTsignaling pathway.