Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(8):1107-1115. doi:10.7150/ijms.33106

Research Paper

The extracts of Astragalus membranaceus enhance chemosensitivity and reduce tumor indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase expression

Naphichaya Phacharapiyangkul1#, Li-Hsien Wu2#, Wei-Ya Lee2, Yi-Hsuan Kuo2, Yueh-Jung Wu3, Huei-Pu Liou3, Yung-En Tsai4, Che-Hsin Lee2,5,6✉

1. Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
2. Department of Biological Sciences, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan;
3. Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan;
4. Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan;
5. Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan;
6. Department of Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
# These authors contributed equally to this paper.

Abstract

Astragalus membranaceus has been shown to possess anti-inflammation and antitumor properties. Several studies have indicated that extracts of Astragalus membranaceus (PG2) have growth inhibitory effects on tumor. However, the effect of PG2 on enhancing the chemotherapy, modulating tumor immune escape and their mechanism of action is unknown and need further investigation. Connexin (Cx) 43 is ubiquitous in cells and involved in facilitating the passage of chemotherapeutic drugs to bystander tumor cells. The indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) depletes tryptophan, reduces the active T cell number and destroys immune surveillance. Herein, we provide evidence that the treatment of PG2 induced Cx43 expression, decreases IDO expression and enhances the distribution of chemotherapeutic drug. However, the effects of combination therapy (PG2 plus cisplatin) in animal models significantly retarded tumor growth and prolonged the survival. We believe that the information provided in this study may aid in the design of future therapy of PG2, suggest suitable combinations with chemotherapies.

Keywords: Astragalus membranaceus, PG2, Connexin 43, Indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase, Combination therapy

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How to cite this article:
Phacharapiyangkul N, Wu LH, Lee WY, Kuo YH, Wu YJ, Liou HP, Tsai YE, Lee CH. The extracts of Astragalus membranaceus enhance chemosensitivity and reduce tumor indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase expression. Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(8):1107-1115. doi:10.7150/ijms.33106. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v16p1107.htm