Document Type: Research Articles
Faculty of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Ardabil University of Medical Science, Ardabil, Iran.
Department of Genetics, Faculty of Sciences, Shahr-e-Kord University, Shahr-e-Kord, Iran.
Background: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is one of the most common malignancies among children,
characterized by mass production of leukemic blasts. Chemotherapy is the first step in routine treatment, although
it may evoke considerable side effects. Matrine, an alkaloid extracted from a Chinese herb, Sophora alopecuroides
flavescens Ait, may be protective. Several investigations have indicated pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative effects in
a diverse range of cancer cells. Methods: Matrine’s anti-cancer effects and associated mechanisms were assessed in
human ALL B-lymphocytes, focusing on parameters of inflammatory change and apoptosis. Results: Treatment of
ALL B-lymphocytes with matrine augmented ROS generation, and caused mitochondrial swelling and a decline in
mitochondrial membrane potential. Significant up-regulation of the pro-apoptotic protein Bax and down-regulation of
the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 were also noted. Conclusion: Our results suggest that matrine may be a potential anticancer
agent. However, additional studies are needed to clarify involved mechanisms.