2016 Volume 10 Issue 5 Pages 392-399
Multidrug resistance (MDR) represents a clinical obstacle to cancer chemotherapy since it causes cancer recurrence and metastasis. Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA), an active ingredient derived from the plant Boswellia serrata, has been found to inhibit the growth of a wide variety of tumor cells, including glioma, colorectal cancer, leukemia, human melanoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and prostate cancer cells. However, the actions of AKBA in multidrug-resistant cancer cells have not been fully elucidated. The current study examined the reversal of MDR by AKBA in a human ileocecal adenocarcinoma cell line with vincristine-induced resistance, HCT-8/VCR. A 3-[4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay indicated that cytotoxicity increased drastically and the IC50 of VCR in HCT-8/VCR cells decreased in the presence of AKBA. AKBA had a maximum "fold reversal" of MDR (FR) of 9.19-fold. In addition, HCT-8/VCR cells treated with AKBA and VCR exhibited a higher percentage of apoptotic tumor cells according to flow cytometry. The reversal of MDR by AKBA was evident in an intracellular increase in Rhodamine (Rh123), indicating that the activity of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) was blocked. Furthermore, AKBA inhibited the expression of P-gp and decreased levels of expression of multidrug resistance gene 1 in HCT-8/VCR cells. The current results indicated that AKBA might be a potential agent to reverse MDR in human ileocecal adenocarcinoma.