Antiangiogenic effect of crocin on breast cancer cell MDA-MB-231

Shuang-Shuang Chen, Yuan Gu, Fang Lu, Dan-Ping Qian, Ting-Ting Dong, Zhong-Hai Ding, Shuang Zhao, Zheng-Hong Yu


Background: Crocin is the major chemical constituent of the Chinese herb saffron. A number of studies have indicated that crocin induces an antitumor effect by inhibiting proliferation and inducing the apoptosis of tumor cells. However, the effect of crocin on tumor angiogenesis remains unknown.
Methods: The effects of prolonged crocin exposure on breast cancer cell MDA-MB-231, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and mice were examined.
Results: Crocin had a profound effect on the morphology and proliferation rate of MDA-MB-231 and HUVECs. Furthermore, crocin induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase in MDA-MB-231 cells in a dose-dependent manner. This confirms that crocin induces the inhibition of HUVECs. Furthermore, the expression of CD34 in tumor tissues decreased after crocin treatment.
Conclusions: Crocin has an anti-angiogenesis effect that may be correlated to the decreased expression of CD34. Crocin is likely to be involved in the regulation of molecules in the angiogenesis pathway.