Modern studies have shown that psoralen has a significant inhibitory effect on tumor growth in a variety of animals and humans.
To obtain coumarin compounds – psoralen and isopsoralen – from traditional Chinese medicine Psoralea corylifolia
using chromatographic techniques and isolation and purification methods, and to observe the transplanted tumor growth inhibitory effects and adverse reactions of psoralen and isopsoralen in nude rats with osteosarcoma.
Dried ripe fruits of Psoralea corylifolia
L. were taken as the raw material to prepare crude extract of Psoralea corylifolia L. by ethanol reflux method. Column chromatography was used to isolate the crude extract; compounds were structurally identified based on 1
C-NMR spectra, the two compounds were identified as psoralen andisopsoralen, and their contents were 99.7% and 99.6, respectively. Nude rat model of osteosarcoma was established; the rats were randomized into: normal saline group, psoralen low- and high-dose groups, isopsoralen low- and high-dose groups, and cisplatin group. Osteosarcoma volume and weight inhibition rates in nude rats in each group were observed; radioimmunoassay was used to determine the serum alkaline phosphatase activity; peripheral blood cell and bone marrow nucleated cell counts were determined; light microscopy was used to observe heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, and tumor histopathology; and electron microscopy was used to observe the fine structure of tumor cells.
Tumor volume inhibition rates were 43.75% and 40.18%, respectively, in the psoralen and isopsoralen low-dose groups, and tumor weight inhibition rates were 38.83% and 37.77%. Tumor volume inhibition rates were 67.86% and 66.96%, respectively, in the psoralen and isopsoralen high-dose groups, and tumor weight inhibition rates were 49.47% and 47.87%. Psoralen and ispsoralen markedly lowered serum AKP level. Psoralen and isopsoralen induced apoptosis or necrosis of osteosarcoma. After administration of high doses of psoralen and isopsoralen, toxic reactions such as writhing, lassitude, and hypoactivity were seen. Kidney histopathology showed tubulointerstitial dilatation and congestion, and inflammatory cell aggregation in the renal intercellular space. Psoralen and isopsoralen did not cause any significant toxic side effects to the bone marrow, or other organs such as heart, lung, liver, and spleen.
Psoralen and isopsoralen have growth inhibitory effects on transplanted tumor in nude rats with osteosarcoma, and can induce tumor cell apoptosis or necrosis, without significant toxic effects.