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Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a common malignant head and neck tumor. Drug resistance and distant metastasis are the predominant cause of treatment failure in NPC patients. Hispidulin is a flavonoid extracted from the bioassay-guided separation of the EtOH extract of Salvia plebeia with strong anti-proliferative activity in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells (CNE-2Z). In this study, the effects of hispidulin on proliferation, invasion, migration, and apoptosis were investigated in CNE-2Z cells. The [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] (MTT) assay and the colony formation assay revealed that hispidulin could inhibit CNE-2Z cell proliferation. Hispidulin (25, 50, 100 μM) also induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in CNE-2Z cells. The expression of Akt was reduced, and the expression of the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 was increased. In addition, scratch wound and transwell assays proved that hispidulin (6.25, 12.5, 25 μM) could inhibited the migration and invasion in CNE-2Z cells. The expressions of HIF-1α, MMP-9, and MMP-2 were decreased, while the MMPs inhibitor TIMP1 was enhanced by hispidulin. Moreover, hispidulin exhibited potent suppression tumor growth and low toxicity in CNE-2Z cancer-bearing mice at a dosage of 20 mg/kg/day. Thus, hispidulin appears to be a potentially effective agent for NPC treatment.


Yiqun Dai, Xiaolong Sun, Bohan Li, Hui Ma, Pingping Wu, Yingping Zhang, Meilin Zhu, Hong-Mei Li, Minjian Qin, Cheng-Zhu Wu. The Effect of Hispidulin, a Flavonoid from Salvia plebeia, on Human Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma CNE-2Z Cell Proliferation, Migration, Invasion, and Apoptosis. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2021 Mar 14;26(6)

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PMID: 33799348

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