Saikosaponin C induces endothelial cells growth, migration and capillary tube formation

Kou Gi Shyu, Shiow Chwen Tsai, Bao Wei Wang, Ya Chen Liu, Chun Chung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Saikosaponin C is one of the saikosaponins that are consisted in a Chinese herb, Radix Bupleuri. Recently, saikosaponins have been reported to have properties of cell growth inhibition, inducing cancer cells differentiation and apoptosis. However, saikosaponin C had no correlation with cell growth inhibition. In this study, we investigated the role of saikosaponin C on the growth of endothelial cells and angiogenesis. We found that saikosaponin C yielded a potent effect on inducing human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) viability and growth. In addition to inducing endothelial cells growth, saikosaponin C also induced endothelial cells migration and capillary tube formation. The gene expression or activation of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the p42/p44 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK, ERK) that correlated with endothelial cells growth, migration and angiogenesis were also induced by saikosaponin C. From these results, we suggest that saikosaponin C may have the potential for therapeutic angiogenesis but is not suitable for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-826
Number of pages14
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 31 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Capillary tube formation
  • ERK
  • Migration
  • MMP-2, VEGF
  • Saikosaponin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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