Scabraside D Extracted from Holothuria scabra Induces Apoptosis and Inhibits Growth of Human Cholangiocarcinoma Xenografts in Mice


Scabraside D, a sulfated triterpene glycoside extract from sea cucumber Holothulia scabra, shows various biological activities, but effects on human cholangiocarcinoma cells have not previously been reported. In the present study, we investigated the activity of scabraside D against human cholangiocarcinoma (HuCCA) both in vitro and for tumor growth inhibition in vivo using a xenograft model in nude mice. Scabraside D (12.5-100 μg/mL) significantly decreased the viability and the migration of the HuCCA cells in a dose-dependent manner, with 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 12.8 ± 0.05 μg/mL at 24 h. It induced signs of apoptotic cells, including shrinkage, pyknosis and karyorrhetic nuclei and DNA fragmentation on agarose gel electrophoresis. Moreover, by quantitative real-time PCR, scabraside D effectively decreased Bcl 2 while increasing Bax and Caspase-3 gene expression levels suggesting that the scabraside D could induce apoptosis in HuCCA cells. In vivo study demonstrated that scabraside D (1 mg/kg/day, i.p. for 21 days) significantly reduced growth of the HuCCA xenografts without adverse effects on the nude mice. Conclusively, scabraside D induced apoptosis in HuCCA cells and reduced the growth of HuCCA xenographs model. Therefore, scabraside D may have potential as a new therapeutic agent for cholangiocarcinoma.