Research Papers:

Icaritin suppresses multiple myeloma, by inhibiting IL-6/JAK2/STAT3

Shicong Zhu, Zhihua Wang, Zijian Li, Hongling Peng, Yunya Luo, Mingyang Deng, Ruijuan Li, Chongwen Dai, Yunxiao Xu, Sufang Liu and Guangsen Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:10460-10472. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3399

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Shicong Zhu1,*, Zhihua Wang1,*, Zijian Li1,2, Hongling Peng1, Yunya Luo1, Mingyang Deng1, Ruijuan Li1, Chongwen Dai1, Yunxiao Xu1, Sufang Liu1, Guangsen Zhang1

1Division of Hematology, Institute of Molecular Hematology, The Second Xiang-ya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China

2Division of Hematology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Corresponding to:

Guangsen Zhang, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: icaritin, multiple myeloma, antitumor activities, IL6/JAK2/STAT3 signaling

Received: January 19, 2015     Accepted: February 15, 2015     Published: March 16, 2015


Icaritin is an active prenylflavonoid derived from Epimedium genus, a traditional Chinese medicine. Icaritin has a wide range of pharmacological and biological activities, including cardiovascular function improvement, hormone regulation and antitumor activity. Here, we investigated the effect of icaritin on multiple myeloma (MM) in vitro and in vivo. Icaritin inhibited cell growth of MM cell line and primary MM cells. In contrast, icaritin had low or no cytotoxic effect on normal hematopoiesis. We also demonstrated that in MM xenograft mouse models, icaritin suppressed tumor growth and decreased serum IL-6 and IgE levels, but did not show adverse reactions such as body weight loss. The anti-MM activity of icaritin was mainly mediated by inhibiting IL-6/JAK2/STAT3 signaling. We suggest that icaritin can be further tested in clinical trials in MM.

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