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author:("urec, Konrad")
1.  Tumour cell derived effects on monocyte/macrophage polarization and function and modulatory potential of Viscum album lipophilic extract in vitro 
Background
Macrophages are highly versatile cells that play an important role in tumour microenvironment. Tumour associated macrophages (TAMs) have been linked to both, good or bad prognosis of several cancer types depending on their number, composition and polarization. Viscum album lipophilic extract (VALE) contains several pentacyclic triterpenes known to modulate the activity of monocytes and other immune cells and to exhibit anticancer properties. In our in vitro study, we investigated the effect of tumour cell lines on macrophage polarization and monocyte chemotactic transmigration and examined the modulatory potential of VALE and its predominant triterpene oleanolic acid (OA).
Methods
Human peripheral blood monocytes were differentiated into monocyte derived macrophages (MDM) using M-CSF and polarized into M1 by IFN-γ and LPS and into M2 macrophages by IL-4 and IL-13 or by co-culture with two different tumour cell lines. Polarized macrophages were subsequently treated with VALE or OA. Phenotypic markers and cytokines were assessed by flow cytometry and immunoanalysis. Migration of human peripheral blood monocytes induced by monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) or supernatants of different tumour cell lines under the influence of VALE or OA was measured in a chemotaxis transmigration assay.
Results
In vitro polarized M1 and M2 type macrophages revealed specific phenotypic patterns and tumour cell co-cultured MDM displayed ambiguous phenotypes with M1 as well as M2 associated markers. VALE and OA showed modest influence on cell surface marker profile and cytokine expression of tumour cell co-cultured macrophages. All tumour cell supernatants markedly enhanced the migratory activity of monocytes. VALE and OA significantly inhibited MCP-1 induced monocyte transmigration, whereas monocyte migration initiated by tumour cell derived supernatants was not affected.
Conclusions
In our study we reconfirmed that co-culture with different tumour cell lines can result in a mixed macrophage phenotype with M1 as well as M2 patterns, a finding that is important for a better understanding of tumour microenvironment functions. Moreover, we demonstrated that VALE shows slight immunomodulatory effects on tumour cell co-cultured macrophages and modulates monocyte chemotactic transmigration in vitro, indicating promising possibilities of triterpenes from Viscum album L. to contribute in a multimodal concept of anti-cancer therapy in future. Our data contribute to an understanding of monocyte function and macrophage polarization in vitro and of the possibility to influence their behaviour by triterpene containing mistletoe extracts.
doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0650-3
PMCID: PMC4412143  PMID: 25902944
Macrophage polarization; Monocyte chemotactic transmigration; Tumour microenvironment; Viscum album lipophilic extract (VALE); Mistletoe
2.  Evaluation of Preclinical Assays to Investigate an Anthroposophic Pharmaceutical Process Applied to Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) Extracts 
Extracts from European mistletoe (Viscum album L.) developed in anthroposophic medicine are based on specific pharmaceutical procedures to enhance remedy efficacy. One such anthroposophic pharmaceutical process was evaluated regarding effects on cancer cell toxicity in vitro and on colchicine tumor formation in Lepidium sativum. Anthroposophically processed Viscum album extract (APVAE) was produced by mixing winter and summer mistletoe extracts in the edge of a high-speed rotating disk and was compared with manually mixed Viscum album extract (VAE). The antiproliferative effect of VAE/APVAE was determined in five cell lines (NCI-H460, DU-145, HCC1143, MV3, and PA-TU-8902) by WST-1 assay in vitro; no difference was found between VAE and APVAE in any cell line tested (P > 0.14). Incidence of colchicine tumor formation was assessed by measurement of the root/shoot-ratio of seedlings of Lepidium sativum treated with colchicine as well as VAE, APVAE, or water. Colchicine tumor formation decreased after application of VAE (−5.4% compared to water, P < 0.001) and was even stronger by APVAE (−8.8% compared to water, P < 0.001). The high-speed mistletoe extract mixing process investigated thus did not influence toxicity against cancer cells but seemed to sustain morphostasis and to enhance resistance against external noxious influences leading to phenomenological malformations.
doi:10.1155/2014/620974
PMCID: PMC4024402  PMID: 24876872
3.  Interaction of standardized mistletoe (Viscum album) extracts with chemotherapeutic drugs regarding cytostatic and cytotoxic effects in vitro 
Background
Given the importance of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to cancer patients, there is an increasing need to learn more about possible interactions between CAM and anticancer drugs. Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) belongs to the medicinal herbs that are used as supportive care during chemotherapy. In the in vitro study presented here the effect of standardized mistletoe preparations on the cytostatic and cytotoxic activity of several common conventional chemotherapeutic drugs was investigated using different cancer cell lines.
Methods
Human breast carcinoma cell lines HCC1937 and HCC1143 were treated with doxorubicin hydrochloride, pancreas adenocarcinoma cell line PA-TU-8902 with gemcitabine hydrochloride, prostate carcinoma cell line DU145 with docetaxel and mitoxantrone hydrochloride and lung carcinoma cell line NCI-H460 was treated with docetaxel and cisplatin. Each dose of the respective chemotherapeutic drug was combined with Viscum album extract (VAE) in clinically relevant concentrations and proliferation and apoptosis were measured.
Results
VAE did not inhibit chemotherapy induced cytostasis and cytotoxicity in any of our experimental settings. At higher concentrations VAE showed an additive inhibitory effect.
Conclusions
Our in vitro results suggest that no risk of safety by herb drug interactions has to be expected from the exposition of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs and VAE simultaneously.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-6
PMCID: PMC3893555  PMID: 24397864
Mistletoe (Viscum album L.); Iscador; Chemotherapy; Drug interactions; Cytostasis; Cytotoxicity
4.  Mistletoe lectin is not the only cytotoxic component in fermented preparations of Viscum album from white fir (Abies pectinata) 
Background
Preparations of mistletoe (Viscum album) are the form of cancer treatment that is most frequently used in the complementary medicine. Previous work has shown that these preparations are able to exert cytotoxic effects on carcinoma cells, the extent of which might be influenced by the host tree species and by the content of mistletoe lectin.
Methods
Using colorimetric assays, we have now compared the cytotoxic effects of Viscum album preparations (VAPs) obtained from mistletoe growing on oak (Quercus robur and Q. petraea, VAP-Qu), apple tree (Malus domestica,, VAP-M), pine (Pinus sylvestris, VAP-P) or white fir (Abies pectinata, VAP-A), on the in vitro growth of breast and bladder carcinoma cell lines. While MFM-223, KPL-1, MCF-7 and HCC-1937 were the breast carcinoma cell lines chosen, the panel of tested bladder carcinoma cells comprised the T-24, TCC-SUP, UM-UC-3 and J-82 cell lines.
Results
Each of the VAPs inhibited cell growth, but the extent of this inhibition differed with the preparation and with the cell line. The concentrations of VAP-Qu, VAP-M and VAP-A which led to a 50 % reduction of cell growth (IC50) varied between 0.6 and 0.03 mg/ml. Higher concentrations of VAP-P were required to obtain a comparable effect. Purified mistletoe lectin I (MLI) led to an inhibition of breast carcinoma cell growth at concentrations lower than those of VAPs, but the sensitivity towards purified MLI did not parallel that towards VAPs. Bladder carcinoma cells were in most cases more sensitive to VAPs treatment than breast carcinoma cells. The total mistletoe lectin content was very high in VAP-Qu (54 ng/mg extract), intermediate in VAP-M (25 ng/mg extract), and very low in VAP-P (1.3 ng/mg extract) and in VAP-A (1 ng/mg extract). As to be expected from the low content of mistletoe lectin, VAP-P led to relatively weak cytotoxic effects. Most remarkably, however, the lectin-poor VAP-A revealed a cytotoxic effect comparable to, or even stronger than, that of the lectin-rich VAP-Qu, on all tested bladder and breast carcinoma cell lines.
Conclusion
The results suggest the existence of cytotoxic components other than mistletoe lectin in VAP-A and reveal an unexpected potential of this preparation for the treatment of breast and bladder cancer.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-7-14
PMCID: PMC1878504  PMID: 17493268

Results 1-4 (4)