Objective: To discuss the effect of puerarin
on human choriocarcinoma cells. Methods: Survival
rates under puerarin monotherapy, fluorouracil (5-FU)
monotherapy and puerarin in combination with 5-FU
were detected by MTT assay. Apoptotic morphology was
observed with Hoechst 33258 staining. Apoptosis rates
were detected with flow cytometry. Expressions of AKT,
mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), and P70S6K
mRNAs and phosphorylated proteins were detected by
RT-PCR and Western blot. Tumor-bearing mice were
administered puerarin and puerarin+5-FU, and serum
levels of β-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-HCG) were
measured. Results: Proliferation inhibition and apoptosis
rates of JEG-3 cells were positively correlated with puerarin
concentration, which increased in the puerarin+5-FU
group. Expression levels of AKT, mTOR, P70S6K mRNAs,
and phosphorylated proteins decreased significantly
after action of puerarin at different concentrations.
With increasing puerarin concentration, expression
of cleaved-caspase-3 in JEG-3 cells increased, whereas
that of Bcl-2 decreased. Puerarin significantly inhibited
tumor growth in choriocarcinoma-bearing SCID mice.
Serum β-HCG levels were significantly lower than those of
control group after administration. Magnitude of β-HCG
decline was positively correlated with concentration.
Conclusion: Puerarin+5-FU inhibited proliferation of JEG-3
choriocarcinoma cells and promoted their apoptosis,
being associated with the mTOR signaling pathway.