Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Celery, artichokes contain flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells

Date:
August 15, 2013
Source:
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Summary:
Celery, artichokes, and herbs, especially Mexican oregano, all contain apigenin and luteolin, flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells in the lab by inhibiting an important enzyme, according to two new studies.

Fresh artichokes. Celery, artichokes, and herbs, especially Mexican oregano, all contain apigenin and luteolin, flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells in the lab by inhibiting an important enzyme, according to two new University of Illinois studies.
Credit: Marzia Giacobbe / Fotolia

Celery, artichokes, and herbs, especially Mexican oregano, all contain apigenin and luteolin, flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells in the lab by inhibiting an important enzyme, according to two new University of Illinois studies.

"Apigenin alone induced cell death in two aggressive human pancreatic cancer cell lines. But we received the best results when we pre-treated cancer cells with apigenin for 24 hours, then applied the chemotherapeutic drug gemcitabine for 36 hours," said Elvira de Mejia, a U of I professor of food chemistry and food toxicology.

The trick seemed to be using the flavonoids as a pre-treatment instead of applying them and the chemotherapeutic drug simultaneously, said Jodee Johnson, a doctoral student in de Mejia's lab who has since graduated.

"Even though the topic is still controversial, our study indicated that taking antioxidant supplements on the same day as chemotherapeutic drugs may negate the effect of those drugs," she said.

"That happens because flavonoids can act as antioxidants. One of the ways that chemotherapeutic drugs kill cells is based on their pro-oxidant activity, meaning that flavonoids and chemotherapeutic drugs may compete with each other when they're introduced at the same time," she explained.

Pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive cancer, and there are few early symptoms, meaning that the disease is often not found before it has spread. Ultimately the goal is to develop a cure, but prolonging the lives of patients would be a significant development, Johnson added.

It is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths, with a five-year survival rate of only 6 percent, she said.

The scientists found that apigenin inhibited an enzyme called glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), which led to a decrease in the production of anti-apoptotic genes in the pancreatic cancer cells. Apoptosis means that the cancer cell self-destructs because its DNA has been damaged.

In one of the cancer cell lines, the percentage of cells undergoing apoptosis went from 8.4 percent in cells that had not been treated with the flavonoid to 43.8 percent in cells that had been treated with a 50-micromolar dose. In this case, no chemotherapy drug had been added.

Treatment with the flavonoid also modified gene expression. "Certain genes associated with pro-inflammatory cytokines were highly upregulated," de Mejia said.

According to Johnson, the scientists' in vitro study in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research is the first to show that apigenin treatment can lead to an increase in interleukin 17s in pancreatic cells, showing its potential relevance in anti-pancreatic cancer activity.

Pancreatic cancer patients would probably not be able to eat enough flavonoid-rich foods to raise blood plasma levels of the flavonoid to an effective level. But scientists could design drugs that would achieve those concentrations, de Mejia said.

And prevention of this frightening disease is another story. "If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables throughout your life, you'll have chronic exposure to these bioactive flavonoids, which would certainly help to reduce the risk of cancer," she noted.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Jodee L. Johnson, Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia. Interactions between dietary flavonoids apigenin or luteolin and chemotherapeutic drugs to potentiate anti-proliferative effect on human pancreatic cancer cells, in vitro. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2013; 60: 83 DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.07.036
  2. Jodee L. Johnson, Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia. Flavonoid apigenin modified gene expression associated with inflammation and cancer and induced apoptosis in human pancreatic cancer cells through inhibition of GSK-3β/NF-κB signaling cascade. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201300307

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "Celery, artichokes contain flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815172358.htm>.
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. (2013, August 15). Celery, artichokes contain flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815172358.htm
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "Celery, artichokes contain flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815172358.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins