Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Immunology, School of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University

2 Department of Biochemistry, School of Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University

3 Department of Virology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran

4 Department of Microbiology, Zanjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zanjan, Iran


Background: Chemo-immunotherapy is one of the new achievements for treatment of cancer, by which the success of anti-cancer therapy can be increased. In vitro studies have been shown that Arteether (ARE) induces apoptosis in tumor cells, but not in normal cells.
Objective: To investigate the cytotoxic and immunomodulatory properties of Arteether in-vivo and in-vitro.
Methods: In this study, we used MTT assay for evaluation of cytotoxicity of Arteether on tumor cell line and Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) from healthy individuals. Balb/c mice were subcutaneously transplanted with tumor tissue taken from Spontaneous Mouse Mammary Tumor (SMMT) bearing female mice. Arteether was administered to breast tumor-bearing Balb/c mice at a dose of 6 mg/kg/day intraperitoneally. Tumor sizes, lymphocyte proliferation, cytokines production, and the percentage of splenic T-reg cells were measured.
Results: We observed that ARE could reduce the cell growth of 4T1 cell line in a dose-dependent manner but it had no cytotoxic effect on the growth of peripheral blood lymphocytes. ARE administered intraperitoneally to tumor-bearing Balb/c mice could reduce the tumor growth rate and splenic T-reg cells. No difference in the IFN-γ, IL-10 and IL-4 production was observed between tumor antigenstimulated splenocytes of mice treated with ARE and control mice.
Conclusion: These results underscore antitumor properties of Arteether that may aid in development of more effective antitumor agents.