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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 154271, 4 pages
Research Article

Norcantharidin Induces HL-60 Cells Apoptosis In Vitro

1School of Pre-Clinical Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
2Institute of Basic Theory of TCM, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 83, Beijing 100700, China
3Department of Basic Theory in Chinese Medicine, Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou 450008, China

Received 29 February 2012; Revised 3 May 2012; Accepted 3 May 2012

Academic Editor: Vincenzo De Feo

Copyright © 2012 You-Ming Jiang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Norcantharidin (NCTD) is the demethylated form of cantharidin, which is the active substance of mylabris, and is known to have anticancer potentials. The aim of this paper was to assess the apoptosis-inducing effect of NCTD on HL-60 cells. Methods. The effects of NCTD were detected by flow cytometer on the cell toxicity, cell cycle, and apoptosis of HL-60 cells cultured in vitro. Results. After 48-hour treatment with NCTD, the growth of HL-60 cells was inhibited significantly. The summit of apoptosis appeared after 24 hours. The percentage of the cells in G1 phase decreased and then increased in S and G2 + M phase, while the S and G2 + M phases were blocked after treatment with 5, 10, and 50 μmol/L NCTD for 24 hours. Conclusions. NCTD can induce the apoptosis of HL-60 cells and inhibit the fissiparism, and the domino effect was obviously correlated with the time and dosage.