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Consumption of latex from Euphorbia tirucalli L. promotes a reduction of tumor growth and cachexia, and immunomodulation in Walker 256 tumor-bearing rats.

Authors
  • Martins, Carolina G1
  • Appel, Marcia H2
  • Coutinho, Débora S S3
  • Soares, Igor P3
  • Fischer, Stefani3
  • de Oliveira, Bruna C3
  • Fachi, Mariana M4
  • Pontarolo, Roberto4
  • Bonatto, Sandro J R5
  • Fernandes, Luiz Claudio3
  • Iagher, Fabíola6
  • de Souza, Lauro M7
  • 1 Instituto de Pesquisa Pelé Pequeno Príncipe, Curitiba, PR, Brazil; Faculdades Pequeno Príncipe, Curitiba, PR, Brazil; Department of Physiology, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, PR, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 2 Department of Structural Biology, Molecular and Genetics, State University of Ponta Grossa, Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 3 Department of Physiology, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, PR, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 4 Department of Pharmacy, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, PR, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 5 Instituto de Pesquisa Pelé Pequeno Príncipe, Curitiba, PR, Brazil; Faculdades Pequeno Príncipe, Curitiba, PR, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 6 Department of Physiology, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, PR, Brazil. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Brazil)
  • 7 Instituto de Pesquisa Pelé Pequeno Príncipe, Curitiba, PR, Brazil; Faculdades Pequeno Príncipe, Curitiba, PR, Brazil. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Brazil)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of ethnopharmacology
Publication Date
Feb 28, 2020
Volume
255
Pages
112722–112722
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.112722
PMID: 32114165
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Euphorbia tirucalli L. is an African plant that grows well in Brazil. Individuals diagnosed with cancer frequently consume latex from E. tirucalli, dissolved in drinking water. In vitro studies confirm the antitumor potential of E. tirucalli latex, but in vivo evaluations are scarce. To evaluate the effect of intake of an aqueous solution of E. tirucalli latex on tumor growth, cachexia, and immune response in Walker 256 tumor-bearing rats. Latex from E. tirucalli was collected and analyzed by LC-MS. Sixty male Wistar rats (age, 90 days) were randomly divided into four groups: C, control group (without tumor); W, Walker 256 tumor-bearing group; SW1, W animals but treated with 25 μL latex/mL water; and SW2, W animals but treated with 50 μL latex/mL water. Animals received 1 mL of latex solution once a day by gavage. After 15 d, animals were euthanized, tumor mass was determined, and glucose and triacylglycerol serum levels were measured by using commercial kits. Change in the body weight during tumor development was calculated, and proliferation capacity of tumor cells was assessed by the Alamar Blue assay. Phagocytosis and superoxide anion production by peritoneal macrophages and circulating neutrophils were analyzed by enzymatic and colorimetric assays. Data are analyzed by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey's post-hoc test, with the significance level set at 5%. The analysis of the latex revealed the presence of triterpenes. The ingestion of the latex aqueous solution promoted 40% and 60% reduction of the tumor mass in SW1 and SW2 groups, respectively (p < 0.05). The proliferative capacity of tumor cells from SW2 group was 76% lower than that of cells from W group (p < 0.0001). Animals treated with latex gained, on average, 20 g (SW1) and 8 g (SW2) weight. Glucose and triacylglycerol serum levels in SW1 and SW2 animals were similar to those in C group rats. Peritoneal macrophages and blood neutrophils from SW1 and SW2 animals produced 30-40% less superoxide anions than those from W group animals (p < 0.05), but neutrophils from SW2 group showed an increased phagocytic capacity (20%, vs. W group). E. tirucalli latex, administered orally for 15 d, efficiently reduced tumor growth and cachexia in Walker 256 tumor-bearing rats. Decreased tumor cell proliferative capacity was one of the mechanisms involved in this effect. Further, the data suggest immunomodulatory properties of E. tirucalli latex. The results agree with folk data on the antitumor effect of latex ingestion, indicating that it may be useful as an adjunct in the treatment of cancer patients. For this, further in vivo studies in animal and human models need to be conducted. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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