Anti-tumor effect of curcumin on human cervical carcinoma HeLa cellsin vitroandin vivo

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To investigate the anti-tumor effect of curcumin on human cervical carcinoma HeLa cells in vitro and in vivo.


(1) Human cervical carcinoma cell line HeLa was cultured in vitro. HeLa cells were treated with 5-50 μmol/L curcumin for 24. 48, 72 h and the growth inhibition rates of HeLa cells were measured by MTT method. Cell apoptosis was inspected by electron microscopy and flow cytometry (FCM). (2) A transplanted tumor model by injecting HeLa cells into subcutaneous tissue of BABL/C mice was established and its growth curve was measured. 30 BABL/C mice with tumors were divided into 2 groups at random and 0.2 ml saline or 0.2 ml 250 μmol/L curcumin was injected into abdominal cavity respectively once everyday and lasted for ten days. The changes of tumor volume were measured continuously and tumor inhibition rate was calculated. At last the expressions of caspase-3 and bax protein in transplanted tumors were detected by immunohistochemistry.


(1) Curcumin inhibited the proliferation of Lela cells on a dose-depending manner. Apoptosis of cells could be observed by FCM. Partial cells presented the characteristic morphological changes of apoptosis under electron microseope. (2) When 1×107 HeLa cells were inoculated for each mouse, 100% of the mice developed growing tumors after seven days. An inhibition effect was observed in treatment group, and the inhibition rate of curcumin was 74.33%. The expressions of caspase-3 and bax in the transplanted tumors were increased in curcumin group.


Curcumin is effective as an anti-cancer drug not only in vitro but also in vivo.

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