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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2016, Article ID 8162952, 11 pages
Research Article

Study of the Effects of Betaine and/or C-Phycocyanin on the Growth of Lung Cancer A549 Cells In Vitro and In Vivo

1Unité Mixte de Recherche 1019, Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine Auvergne, Université d’Auvergne, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
2CNRS UPR4301, Université Orléans, 45100 Orléans, France
3Greentech SA, Biopôle Clermont-Limagne, 63360 Saint-Beauzire, France
4Centre Jean Perrin, Service de Chirurgie Thoracique, 58 rue Montalembert, 63011 Clermont-Ferrand, France
5CIAMS, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
6CIAMS, Université d’Orléans, 45067 Orléans, France

Received 22 April 2016; Revised 27 June 2016; Accepted 31 July 2016

Academic Editor: James L. Mulshine

Copyright © 2016 Rea Bingula 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.


We investigated the effects of betaine, C-phycocyanin (C-PC), and their combined use on the growth of A549 lung cancer both in vitro and in vivo. When cells were coincubated with betaine and C-PC, an up to 60% decrease in viability was observed which is significant compared to betaine (50%) or C-PC treatment alone (no decrease). Combined treatment reduced the stimulation of NF-κB expression by TNF-α and increased the amount of the proapoptotic p38 MAPK. Interestingly, combined treatment induced a cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase for ~60% of cells. In vivo studies were performed in pathogen-free male nude rats injected with A549 cells in their right flank. Their daily food was supplemented with either betaine, C-PC, both, or neither. Compared to the control group, tumour weights and volumes were significantly reduced in either betaine- or C-PC-treated groups and no additional decrease was obtained with the combined treatment. This data indicates that C-PC and betaine alone may efficiently inhibit tumour growth in rats. The synergistic activity of betaine and C-PC on A549 cells growth observed in vitro remains to be further confirmed in vivo. The reason behind the nature of their interaction is yet to be sought.