DNA and cell biology

Cell and nuclear enlargement of SW480 cells induced by a plant lignan, arctigenin: evaluation of cellular DNA content using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.

PMID 21663531


Arctigenin is a natural plant lignan previously shown to induce G(2)/M arrest in SW480 human colon cancer cells as well as AGS human gastric cancer cells, suggesting its use as a possible cancer chemopreventive agent. Changes in cell and nuclear size often correlate with the functionality of cancer-treating agents. Here, we report that arctigenin induces cell and nuclear enlargement of SW480 cells. Arctigenin clearly induced the formation of giant nuclear shapes in SW480, as demonstrated by fluorescence microscopic observation and quantitative determination of nuclear size. Cell and nuclear size were further assessed by flow cytometric analysis of light scattering and fluorescence pulse width after propidium iodide staining. FSC-H and FL2-W values (parameters referring to cell and nuclear size, respectively) significantly increased after arctigenin treatment; the mean values of FSC-H and FL2-W in arctigenin-treated SW480 cells were 572.6 and 275.1, respectively, whereas those of control cells were 482.0 and 220.7, respectively. Our approach may provide insights into the mechanism behind phytochemical-induced cell and nuclear enlargement as well as functional studies on cancer-treating agents.

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(−)-Arctigenin, ≥95% (LC/MS-ELSD)