2004 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 180-184
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Gelidium amansii, an edible red agar cultivated off the northeast coast of Taiwan, on the growth of two lines of cancer cells, murine hepatoma (Hepa-1) and human leukemia (HL-60) cells, as well as a normal cell line, murine embryo fibroblast cells (NIH-3T3). The potential role of G. amansii on the induction of apoptosis was also examined. The results indicated that all extracts from G. amansii, including phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and methanol extracts from dried algae as well as the dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) extract from freeze-dried G. amansii agar, inhibited the growth of Hepa-1 and NIH-3T3 cells, but not the growth of HL-60 cells. Annexin V-positive cells were observed in methanol and DMSO extract-treated, but not PBS extract-treated Hepa-1 and NIH-3T3 cells, suggesting that the lipid-soluble extracts of G. amansii induced apoptosis. In summary, extracts of G. amansii from various preparations exhibited antiproliferative effects on Hepa-1 and NIH-3T3 cells, and apoptosis may play a role in the methanol and DMSO extract-induced inhibitory effects. However, the antiproliferative effects of PBS extracts was not through apoptosis. Moreover, the growth-inhibitory effects of G. amansii were not specific to cancer cells.