ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE Weimaining (WMN) is a condensed Tannin compound extracted from Fagopyrum cymosum (Trevir .) Meisn., which comes from the roots of buckwheat, a type of Chinese herbal medicine, was first recorded in``Bencao Shiyi". WMN has inhibitory effects on multiple cancer types and is widely used in clinical practice; however, the mechanism underlying the anti-tumor effect of WMN is still unclear .
AIM OF THE STUDY To investigate the effect of WMN on the cellular activity and apoptosis of mouse breast cancer 4T1-luc2 cells, and caspase-3 and cleaved-caspase-3 expression . MATERIALS AND
METHODS Luciferase-labeled mouse breast cancer 4T1-luc2 cells were inoculated into the mouse breast pad to establish a luciferase-labeled mouse breast cancer cell model . BALB/C-nu mice were randomly divided into model, WMN, and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) groups (n=10). Another 10 mice served as the normal control group (no cancer cell injection). The WMN group was administered WMN 250 mg/kg per day for 14 days, the LMWH group was given LMWH (1500 U/kg) daily for 14 days by intraperitoneal injection, and the model and normal control groups were given an equal dose of 0.9% NaCl . The number and distribution of transplanted tumors in 4T1-luc2 breast cancer cells were observed in nude mice by an in vivo imaging system at the time of inoculation after successful modeling, and on days 7 and 14 after drug administration . Tumor cell apoptosis was detected by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) method; caspase-3 mRNA expression was detected by RT-PCR and Western blotting was applied to detect the levels of caspase-3 and cleaved-caspase-3 protein expression .
RESULTS The apoptosis index (AI) of the WMN group was detected by the TUNEL method, and the AI increased with the increase of treatment time . Compared with the model group, the mRNA expression of caspase-3 and the protein levels of caspase-3 and cleaved-caspase-3 were notably elevated in the WMN group . After in vivo bioluminescent imaging, the total photon number of the WMN group was found to be lower than that of the LWMH group on day 14 after administration . Additionally, the AI and expression levels of caspase-3 mRNA, caspase-3, and cleaved-caspase-3 protein of the WMN group were higher than those of the LWMH group .
CONCLUSION WMN can effectively suppress the growth of 4T1-luc2 breast cancer xenografts in mice, and promote the apoptosis of breast cancer cells by upregulating the expression of caspase-3.