The effect of silibinin, an active component of Silybum marianum, on cellular differentiation was investigated in the human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cell culture system. Treatment of HL-60 cells with silibinin inhibited cellular proliferation and induced cellular differentiation in a dose-dependent manner. Cytofluorometric analysis and morphologic studies indicated that silibinin induced differentiation of HL-60 cells predominantly into monocytes. Importantly, strongly synergistic induction of differentiation into monocytes was observed when silibinin was combined with 5 nM 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25-(OH)2D3], a well-known differentiation inducer of HL-60 cells into the monocytic lineage. Silibinin enhanced protein kinase C (PKC) activity and increased protein levels of both PKCα and PKCβ in 1,25-(OH)2D3-treated HL-60 cells. PKC and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) inhibitors significantly inhibited HL-60 cell differentiation induced by silibinin alone or in combination with 1,25-(OH)2D3, indicating that PKC and ERK may be involved in silibinin-induced HL-60 cell differentiation.
- 1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D
- Extracellular signal-regulated kinase
- HL-60 cell differentiation
- Protein kinase C
ASJC Scopus subject areas