Background: Cisplatin-based treatment often leads to therapeutic failure because the acquisition of
cisplatin resistance. The combination of cisplatin with other agents has been recognized as a promising strategy to
overcome cisplatin resistance.
Objective: Celastrus orbiculatus is a traditional Chinese medicine from Celastraceae family with multiple
pharmacological activities. We previously found that the ethyl acetate extract of Celastrus orbiculatus (COE)
exhibited significant antitumor activity in gastric cancer. Here, we asked whether COE could increase the sensitivity
Methods: We use CCK8 assay to show synergistic cytotoxicity of COE and cisplatin. Then, PI single staining and
FITC-Annexin V/PI double staining were used to observe apoptotic cells through flow cytometry. The proteins of
caspase signaling pathway were examined by Western blotting.
Results: COE and cisplatin showed synergistic cytotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner in BGC 823 and SGC 7901
gastric cancer cells, and COE could increase the number of apoptotic cells upon cisplatin treatment in vitro.
Moreover, our results indicated that COE could enhance cisplatin–induced activation of caspase-8 or caspase-
9/caspase-3/PARP1 signaling pathways. The xenograft study further confirmed that COE increased the sensitivity of
cisplatin in vivo.
Conclusion: Our findings provided new evidence that COE could increase the sensitivity of cisplatin on the