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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 759483, 9 pages
Research Article

Salvianolic Acid B Prevents Arsenic Trioxide-Induced Cardiotoxicity In Vivo and Enhances Its Anticancer Activity In Vitro

1Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China
2Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China
3School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, King’s Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JU, UK
4Academy of Chinese Materia Medica, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou 325035, China

Received 22 December 2012; Revised 2 March 2013; Accepted 2 March 2013

Academic Editor: Angelo Antonio Izzo

Copyright © 2013 Min Wang 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.


Clinical attempts to reduce the cardiotoxicity of arsenic trioxide (ATO) without compromising its anticancer activities remain to be an unresolved issue. In this study, we determined whether Sal B can protect against ATO-induced cardiac toxicity in vivo and increase the toxicity of ATO toward cancer cells. Combination treatment of Sal B and ATO was investigated using BALB/c mice and human hepatoma (HepG2) cells and human cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. The results showed that the combination treatment significantly improved the ATO-induced loss of cardiac function, attenuated damage of cardiomyocytic structure, and suppressed the ATO-induced release of cardiac enzymes into serum in BALB/c mouse models. The expression levels of Bcl-2 and p-Akt in the mice treated with ATO alone were reduced, whereas those in the mice given the combination treatment were similar to those in the control mice. Moreover, the combination treatment significantly enhanced the ATO-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis of HepG2 cells and HeLa cells. Increases in apoptotic marker cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase and decreases in procaspase-3 expressions were observed through western blot. Taken together, these observations indicate that the combination treatment of Sal B and ATO is potentially applicable for treating cancer with reduced cardiotoxic side effects.