Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry, CUHK, Shatin, Hong Kong.
Oxymatrine is one of active constituents isolated from Ku Shen, which is the dried root of Sophora flavescens Ait. The herb used in different herbal formulations is commonly known with specific pharmacological properties for treatment of liver disorders and other diseases such as arrhythmia, eczema and skin disorders, leukopenia and bronchitis. Sophora flavescens Ait is known to enhance liver functions and reduce hepatotoxicity due to oxidative stress and liver injury. The protection of cells from chemical toxicity is important in reducing liver damage. Reduction of oxidative stress by active components of herbal medicines is shown to be beneficial and important in regulating the normal functions of the liver. In this study, effects of oxymatrine on cancer cells after treatment of the cell line with DMSO were reported. This review described for cells without oxymatrine pre-treatment, cell injury was implicated as indicated by the decrease in cell viability. Ku Shen showed protective effects on cells from the DMSO-induced toxicity. The results show that oxymatrine can inhibit the G2 and M phase of H4IIE. The findings suggest that anti-inflammatory constituents such as oxymatrine could mediate cell division of cancer cells and reduce cell cytotoxicity due probably to its capacity to inhibit the metabolic activation of hepato-toxin, a critical factor in the pathogenesis of chemical-induced liver injury.