Ampelopsis cantoniensis (AC) has been used as a folk medicine for reducing pain in the Taiwanese population. Our previous studies have shown that the crude extract of AC induced apoptosis in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. In this study, the in vivo effects of AC on leukemia WEHI-3 cells and immune responses such as phagocytosis and natural killer (NK) cell activity were investigated. The weights of the livers and spleens were decreased in the AC-treated groups compared to the control groups.
Non-toxic stimulation of dendritic cells (DCs), which are central immunomodulators, may aid the prevention of cancer. Furthermore, induction of apoptosis in cancer cells by anticancer agents contributes to the induction of DC maturation. We previously reported that extracts from Pinus parviflora Sieb. et Zucc pine cone and Mucuna seed induce differentiation of mouse bone marrow cells into mature dendritic cells and also induce apoptosis in various human cancer cell lines.