Original Article

Cytotoxic effect of trans-cinnamaldehyde on human leukemia K562 cells

Authors: Jia-hua Zhang, Li-qiong Liu, Yan-li He, Wei-jia Kong, Shi-ang Huang
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2010.76


Aim: To investigate the effects of trans-cinnamaldehyde (TCA) on the human leukemia K562 cell line and the cytotoxicity of cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells against K562 cells.
Methods: Apoptosis, Fas expression, and mitochondrial transmembrane potential in K652 cells were analyzed using flow cytometry. K562 cells were labeled with CFSE. The cytotoxic effect of expanded CIK cells on CFSE-labeled K562 cells was determined by FACS flow cytometry.
Results: Treatment with TCA 180 μmol/L for 9 h induced apoptosis in 8.9%±1.23% of K562 cells. Treatment with 120 or 180 μmol/L TCA for 24 h significantly increased the apoptotic cells to 18.63%±1.42 % and 38.98%±2.74%, respectively. TCA significantly upregulates Fas expression and decreases mitochondrial transmembrane potential in K562 cells. TCA treatment at 120 and 180 μmol/L for 9 h enhanced the percentage of lysis of K562 cells by expanded CIK cells from 34.84%±2.13% to 48.21%±2.22 % and 64.81%±3.22% at the E:F ratio of 25:1 and from 49.26%±3.22% to 57.81%±5.13% and 73.36%±5.98% at E:F ratio of 50:1.
Conclusion: TCA exerts cytotoxic effects on human leukemia K562 cells by inducing apoptosis and synergizing the cytotoxicity of CIK cells against K562 cells. These properties of TCA are beneficial to the treatment of leukemia, even in the patients who have received hematopoietic stem cells transplantation (HSCT).

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