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Molecules 2014, 19(6), 7785-7797; doi:10.3390/molecules19067785

Shikonin Inhibits the Proliferation of Human Lens Epithelial Cells by Inducing Apoptosis through ROS and Caspase-Dependent Pathway

Tianjin Eye Hospital, Clinic College of Ophthalmology, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin 300020, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 April 2014 / Revised: 19 May 2014 / Accepted: 3 June 2014 / Published: 11 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
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Abstract

Shikonin is a compound from the herbal plant Lithospermum erythrorhizon that has been proved to possess powerful anti-proliferative effect on many kinds of cancers and to be safe in in vivo study. Posterior capsular opacification (PCO), the most frequent complication of cataract surgery, is mainly caused by the uncontrolled proliferation of retained human lens epithelial cells (HLEs). In this study, we investigated the effect of shikonin on the proliferation of HLEs and explored its underlying mechanism of action. Shikonin significantly inhibited the proliferation of HLEs in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Its anti-proliferative effect was exerted through induction of apoptosis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation played an essential role in this apoptotic process. Interestingly, scavenging of ROS completely blocked the apoptosis induced by shikonin. In addition, the treatment of shikonin in HLEs significantly increased the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2, disrupted mitochondria membrane potential (MMP) and activated caspases. The inhibition of caspase largely blocks the apoptosis. The changes of MAPK pathway were also demonstrated. Shikonin effectively inhibited the phosphorylation of ERK, while it activated the phosphorylation of JNK and p38. These results suggested that shikonin inhibited the proliferation of HLEs by inducing apoptosis through ROS generation and the caspase-dependent pathway and the MAPK pathway was also involved. View Full-Text
Keywords: human lens epithelial cells; posterior capsular opacification; apoptosis; caspase-dependent pathway human lens epithelial cells; posterior capsular opacification; apoptosis; caspase-dependent pathway
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, W.-R.; Zhang, Y.; Tang, X. Shikonin Inhibits the Proliferation of Human Lens Epithelial Cells by Inducing Apoptosis through ROS and Caspase-Dependent Pathway. Molecules 2014, 19, 7785-7797.

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