A crude extract of Smphytum officinale L. (comfrey) was for its ability to inhibit he growth of hepatocellular carcinoma cells and expression of the insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-II) gene. The DNA synthesis of hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines, Hep G2, Hep 3B, and PLC/PRF/5 was inhibited by a crude extract of Smphytum officinale in both a time- and a dose-dependent manners. This plant extract also inhibited expression of the IGF-II gene. Since IGF-II exerts a mitogenic effect on Hep G2 cells, these results suggest that the growth inhibition by Symphytum officinale extract is, in part, mediated through the inhibition of IGF-II gene expression.
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