Chemotherapeutic effects of bioassay-guided extracts of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana

Xiao Yu Wang, Zheng Chun He, Li Yan Song, Shawn Spencer, Lei Xiang Yang, Fang Peng, Guang Ming Liu, Ming Hui Hu, Hai Bo Li, Xiu Mei Wu, Su Zeng, Rolf Hilgenfeld, Joachim Stöckigt, Yu Zhao*, Jin Fu Qian

*Corresponding author for this work
13 Citations (Scopus)


The organic extract of Periplaneta americana L. (Dictyoptera; Blattidae) has been traditionally used in southwestern China as an alternative medicine against disorders such as hepatitis, trauma, gastric ulcers, burns, and heart disease. The present study describes bioassay-guided purification and chemotherapeutic evaluation of the 60% ethanolic fraction of P americana organic extracts (PAE60). The most effective cytotoxic fraction was determined by way of repeated in vitro screenings against 12 distinct cultured human carcinoma cell lines: Eca 109, BGC823, HO8910, LS174T, CNE, HeLa, K562, PC-3, A549, BEL 7404, HL-60, and KB, followed by in vivo antitumor assays of the lead fraction (PAE60). The complexity of enriched active fraction was qualitatively evaluated using thin layer chromatography. Reconstituted PAE60 was effective at inhibiting HL-60, KB, CNE, and BGC823 cell growth with IC50 values <20 μg mL-1. PAE60 reduced tumor growth in S180-bearing immunocompetent mice by 72.62% after 10 days following oral doses of 500 mg kg d-1 compared with 78.75% inhibition following 40 mg kg d-1 of cyclophosphamide (CTX). Thymus and spleen indices of S180-bearing mice treated with PAE60 were significantly greater (P <.05) than CTX treatment groups, suggesting potential immunomodulation of antitumor host defenses by PAE60. Antiviral activity was also investigated and PAE60 inhibited herpes simplex type-2 replication (IC50 = 4.11 ± 0.64 μg mL-1) with a selectivity index (CC50 to IC50 ratio) of 64.84 in Vero cells but was less effective on type-1 virus (IC50 of 25.6 ± 3.16 μg mL-1). These results support future clinical trials on P. americana as an alternative or complementary medicinal agent.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIntegrative Cancer Therapies
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)NP12-NP23
Publication statusPublished - 09.2011

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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