Antiangiogenic effects and therapeutic targets of azadirachta indica leaf extract in endothelial cells

Saswati Mahapatra, Charles Y.F. Young, Manish Kohli, R. Jeffrey Karnes, Eric W. Klee, Michael W. Holmes, Donald J. Tindall, Krishna Vanaja Donkena

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16 Scopus citations


Azadirachta indica (common name: neem) leaves have been found to possess immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. The present study evaluates anti-angiogenic potential of ethanol extract of neem leaves (EENL) in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Treatment of HUVECs with EENL inhibited VEGF induced angiogenic response in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro proliferation, invasion and migration of HUVECs were suppressed with EENL. Nuclear fragmentation and abnormally small mitochondria with dilated cristae were observed in EENL treated HUVECs by transmission electron microscopy. Genome-wide mRNA expression profiling after treatment with EENL revealed differentially regulated genes. Expression changes of the genes were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Additionally, increase in the expression of HMOX1, ATF3 and EGR1 proteins were determined by immunoblotting. Analysis of the compounds in the EENL by mass spectrometry suggests the presence of nimbolide, 2(′),3(′)- dehydrosalannol, 6-desacetyl nimbinene and nimolinone. We further confirmed antiproliferative activity of nimbolide and 2(′),3(′)- dehydrosalannol in HUVECs. Our results suggest that EENL by regulating the genes involved in cellular development and cell death functions could control cell proliferation, attenuate the stimulatory effects of VEGF and exert antiangiogenic effects. EENL treatment could have a potential therapeutic role during cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number303019
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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