Objective: To investigate the effect of acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid(AKBA) on colorectal cancer xenografts in nude mice and its possible mechanism. Methods: The nude mouse models of colorectal cancer were established.Thirty cases of colorectal cancer models were divided into model group and AKBA group according to random number method, with 15 rats in each group. The nude mices in AKBA group were given AKBA intragastrically once a day(60 mg·kg-1)and the nude mices in model group were given the same amount of normal saline once a day, all for 3 weeks. The body weight and tumor volume of nude mice were measured daily. After 3 weeks, Hematoxylin-eosin(HE) staining were performed in nude mice xenografts. Immunohistochemistry method was used to determine the expression level of β-catenin protein in xenografts tissues. Western blotting method was used to determine the levels of cyclin D1, cytoplasmic proliferating antigen(PCNA), matrix metalloproteinase-2(MMP-2) and matrix metalloproteinase-7(MMP-7) in xenografts tissues. The mRNA levels of cyclin D1, PCNA, MMP-2 and MMP-7 mRNA in xenografts tissues were determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).Results: There was no significant difference in body weight between the two groups(P > 0.05).The volume of xenografts in the AKBA group was significantly smaller than that of the model group(P > 0.05). Obvious cell abnormalities were found in the xenografts in model group by HE staining method. In addition, the tumor cells in model group formed adenoid structures with irregularly arranged and varying sizes, and nuclear fission and microvasculars formation was common. However, the xenografts cell abnormalities was smaller in AKBA group, and adenoid structure was increased and the blood vessels was reduced. The positive expression rate of β-catenin in AKBA group was significantly lower than that in the model group(P < 0.05). The expression levels of cyclin D1,PCNA, MMP-2, MMP-7 protein and mRNA in the AKBA group were significantly lower than those in the model group(P < 0.05).Conclusion: AKBA can inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer xenografts via down-regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in nude mice.
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