Decreased chemosensitivity among tumor cells is often an obstacle in cisplatin (Cis) chemotherapy. Overexpression of multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) is a key mechanism underlying decreased Cis chemosensitivity and resistance. Astragaloside IV (AS IV) is an important component derived from the well-known traditional Chinese herb Astragalus membranaceus. The aim of this study was to explore the role of AS IV in enhancing the antitumor effect of Cis by suppressing MRP2 expression in HepG2 cells and H22 tumor-bearing mice. After co-treatment of HepG2 cells with Cis and AS IV, we assessed the effects on cell proliferation and apoptosis. Tumor growth and apoptosis assessment were performed to assess chemosensitivity in H22 tumor-bearing mice. We used western blotting, immunofluorescence assays, and immunohistochemistry assays to detect MRP2 expression in HepG2 cells, H22 tumor tissues and mouse kidney tissues. AS IV enhanced Cis chemosensitivity by increasing tumor cell apoptosis and slowing tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. MRP2 overexpression in tumor cells was induced by Cis, which contributes to decreased chemosensitivity and Cis resistance. Co-administration of AS IV suppressed MRP2 expression in tumor tissues, which might be an important mechanism for enhancing Cis chemosensitivity in hepatocellular carcinoma. Moreover, AS IV alleviated Cis-induced kidney injury in mice without changing MRP2 expression. In total, AS IV enhanced the antitumor effect of Cis against hepatocellular carcinoma by suppressing MRP2 expression in tumor cells. The results provide a new insight into the combined use of a chemotherapy drug and natural ingredients to treat cancer.
Eur J Pharm Sci (European journal of pharmaceutical sciences : official journal of the European Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences)
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