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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 690164, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/690164
Research Article

Crocin Exhibits Antitumor Effects on Human Leukemia HL-60 Cells In Vitro and In Vivo

1Department of Pediatric Hematology, The Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Qingdao University, No. 16 Jiangsu Road, Qingdao 266003, China
2Department of Pharmacy, The Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266003, China
3Department of Clinical Laboratory, The Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Qingdao University, Qingdao, 266003, China

Received 25 December 2012; Revised 19 February 2013; Accepted 19 February 2013

Academic Editor: Mohamed Eddouks

Copyright © 2013 Yan Sun 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

Crocin is a carotenoid of the saffron extract that exhibits antitumor activity against many human tumors. However, the effects of crocin on HL-60 cells in vivo have not been evaluated. This study aimed to examine the effects of crocin on HL-60 cells in vitro and in vivo and investigate the underlying mechanisms. HL-60 cells were treated by crocin, and cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell cycle profiles were examined by MTT assay, AO/EB staining, and flow cytometry, respectively. Furthermore, HL-60 cells were xenografted into nude mice and treated by crocin, the tumor weight and size were calculated, and the expression of Bcl-2 and Bax in xenografts was detected by immunohistochemical staining. The results showed that crocin (0.625–5 mg/mL) inhibited HL-60 cell proliferation and induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase, in a concentration and time-dependent manner. In addition, crocin (6.25, 25 mg/kg) inhibited the tumor weight and size of HL-60 xenografts in nude mice, inhibited Bcl-2 expression, and increased Bax expression in xenografts. In summary, crocin inhibits the proliferation and tumorigenicity of HL-60 cells, which may be mediated by the induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest and the regulation of Bcl-2 and Bax expression.