Jiawei Yanghe Decoction suppresses breast cancer by regulating immune responses via JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway

Yanting You, Xiaomei Chen, Xiaohu Chen, Hong Li, Ruisi Zhou, Jie Zhou, Meilin Chen, Baizhao Peng, Shuai Ji, Hiu Yee Kwan, Lifang Zou, Jingtao Yu, Yanyan Liu*, Yifen Wu*, Xiaoshan Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Jiawei Yanghe Decoction (JWYHD) is a widely used traditional Chinese medicine prescription in the clinical setting for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Many studies showed that JWYHD has anti-tumor activities in cell and animal models. However, the anti-breast cancer effects of JWYHD and the underlying mechanisms of action remain unknown.

Aim of study: This study aimed to determine the anti-breast cancer effect and reveal the underlying mechanisms of action in vivo, in vitro and in silico.

Materials and methods: Orthotopic xenograft breast cancer mouse model and inflammatory zebrafish model were used to observe the anti-tumor effect and immune cell regulation of JWYHD. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory effect of JWYHD were evaluated by the expression of RAW 264.7 cells. JWYHD active ingredients were obtained by UPLC-MS/MS and potential targets were screened by network pharmacology. The therapeutic targets and signaling pathways predicted by computer were assessed by Western blot, real-time PCR (RT-PCR), immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining, and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to explore the therapeutic mechanism of JWYHD against breast cancer. At last, Colivelin and Stattic were used to explore the effect of JWYHD on JAK2/STAT3 pathway.

Results: JWYHD significantly decreased the tumor growth in a dose-dependent manner in the orthotopic xenograft breast cancer mouse model. Flow cytometry and IHC results indicated that JWYHD decreased the expressions of M2 macrophages and Treg while increasing M1 macrophages. Meanwhile, ELISA and Western blot results showed a decrease in IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα, PTGS2 and VEGFα in tumor tissue of JWYHD groups. The results were also verified in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells and zebrafish inflammatory models. TUNEL assay and IHC results showed that JWYHD significantly induced apoptosis. Seventy-two major compounds in JWYHD were identified by UPLC-MS/MS and Network pharmacology. It was found that the significant binding affinity of JWYHD to TNFα, PTGS2, EGFR, STAT3, VEGFα and their expressions were inhibited by JWYHD. IHC and Western blot analysis showed that JWYHD could decrease the expression of JAK2/STAT3 pathway. Furthermore, Colivelin could reverse the decrease effect of JWYHD in vitro.

Conclusion: JWYHD exerts a significant anti-tumor effect mainly by inhibiting inflammation, activating immune responses and inducing apoptosis via the JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway. Our findings provide strong pharmacological evidence for the clinical application of JWYHD in the management of breast cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116358
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Early online date17 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Breast carcinoma
  • Chinese herbal medicine
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Inflammation
  • Modified Harmonious Yang Decoction
  • Natural products


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