Curcumin inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma growth by targeting VEGF expression
- Zirong Pan
- Jianmin Zhuang
- Chenghong Ji
- Zhezhen Cai
- Weijia Liao
- Zhengjie Huang
Published online on: February 7, 2018
Copyright: © Pan et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
Morbidity and mortality owing to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common primary liver cancer, has increased in recent years. Curcumin is a polyphenol compound that has been demonstrated to exert effective antiangiogenic, anti‑inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor effects. However, its clinical effects in HCC remain elusive. The main aim of the present study was to determine the antiangiogenic effects of curcumin in HCC. H22HCC cells were treated with different concentrations of curcumin in vitro. In addition, a mouse xenograft model was used and analyzed for expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein and proteins of the phosphoinositide 3‑kinase (PI3K)/AKT serine/threonine kinase 1 (AKT) signaling pathway. Curcumin treatment inhibited H22 cell proliferation and promoted H22 cell apoptosis in a dose‑dependent manner in vitro. In addition, curcumin treatment inhibited tumor growth in vivo at the concentrations of 50 and 100 mg/kg. Furthermore, curcumin treatment significantly decreased VEGF expression and PI3K/AKT signaling. The present findings demonstrated that curcumin inhibited HCC proliferation in vitro and in vivo by reducing VEGF expression.