Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and hepatocellular carcinoma are major diseases that affect the Taiwanese population. Therefore,
the development of an alternative herbal medicine that can effectively treat these diseases is a research target. In this study, we tested Ixeris
(Thunb.) Nakai boiling water extract (ICTN BWE) in vitro and analysed its effects on the HBV and liver cancer.
Materials and Methods:
We used a human liver cancer cell line (Hep3B, a cell line that continuously secretes HBV particles into a medium) as
an experimental model for the screening of various ICTN BWE concentrations and their effects on the HBV in vitro.
Our results showed that 75 μg/mL ICTN BWE downregulated the relative expression of the hepatitis B virus surface antigens (HBsAg)
to 77.1%. Using the human liver cancer cell lines HuH-7 and HepG2, and 3-(4,5- dimethylthiazol-zyl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT)
and tumour clonogenic assays, we then showed that ICTN BWE inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma growth.
Fluorescent microscopy of DAPI(4\',6-Diamidino-2-phenylindole)-stained nuclei and DNA fragmentation assays confirmed the
inhibitory effects of ICTN BWE on liver tumour cell growth through induction of apoptosis.