Br J Cancer. 2004 Apr 19;90(8):1672-8.
Betulinic acid augments the inhibitory effects of vincristine on growth and lung metastasis of B16F10 melanoma cells in mice.
Department of Oncological and Regenerative Surgery, School of Medicine , The University of Tokushima , Tokushima 770-8503, Japan .
We examined the antitumour effect of a combination of betulinic acid (BA) and vincristine (VCR) on murine melanoma B16F10 cells in vitro and in vivo. Betulinic acid, a pentacyclic triterpene, showed a synergistic cytotoxic effect on melanoma cells by combinational use of VCR. Betulinic acid and VCR induced cell cycle arrest at different points (BA at G1 phase and VCR at G2/M phase) and caused apoptosis in B16F10 melanoma cells. In the in vivo study, VCR inhibited metastasis of tumour cells to the lung. The addition of BA to VCR augmented suppression of the experimental lung metastasis of melanoma cells in C57BL/6 mice. The number of lung nodules of more than 1 mm in diameter in mice treated with BA and VCR was less than that in mice treated with VCR alone. These results suggest that BA is an effective supplement for enhancing the chemotherapeutic effect on malignant melanoma.