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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 251362, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/251362
Research Article

Betulinic Acid Inhibits Growth of Cultured Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells In Vitro by Inducing Arrest and Apoptosis

1Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Serdang, Malaysia
2Faculty of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Kampus Kota, Jalan Sultan Mahmud, 20400 Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
3Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, 43400 Serdang, Malaysia
4Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, 43400 Serdang, Malaysia

Received 22 February 2012; Revised 16 August 2012; Accepted 29 August 2012

Academic Editor: Virginia S. Martino

Copyright © 2012 Raja Kumar Vadivelu 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.

Abstract

Betulinic acid is a widely available plant-derived triterpene which is reported to possess selective cytotoxic activity against cancer cells of neuroectodermal origin and leukemia. However, the potential of betulinic acid as an antiproliferative and cytotoxic agent on vascular smooth muscle (VSMC) is still unclear. This study was carried out to demonstrate the antiproliferative and cytotoxic effect of betulinic acid on VSMCs using 3-[4,5-dimethylthizol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, flow cytometry cell cycle assay, BrdU proliferation assay, acridine orange/propidium iodide staining, and comet assay. Result from MTT and BrdU assays indicated that betulinic acid was able to inhibit the growth and proliferation of VSMCs in a dose-dependent manner with IC50 of 3.8 μg/mL significantly . Nevertheless, betulinic acid exhibited G1 cell cycle arrest in flow cytometry cell cycle profiling and low level of DNA damage against VSMC in acridine orange/propidium iodide and comet assay after 24 h of treatment. In conclusion, betulinic acid induced G1 cell cycle arrest and dose-dependent DNA damage on VSMC.