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  • Open Access

Apigenin inhibits growth and motility but increases gap junctional coupling intensity in rat prostate carcinoma (MAT-LyLu) cell populations

  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 1Email author
Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal200813:3

  • Received: 28 May 2007
  • Accepted: 14 November 2007
  • Published:


Apigenin (4′,5,7,-trihydroxyflavone) is a flavonoid abundant in the common fruits, herbs and vegetables constituting the bulk of the human diet. This study was aimed at quantifying the effects of apigenin on the basic cellular traits determining cancer development, i.e. cell proliferation, gap junctional coupling, and motility, using the Dunning rat prostate MAT-LyLu cell model. We demonstrated that apigenin considerably inhibits MAT-LyLu cell proliferation and significantly enhances the intensity of connexin43-mediated gap junctional coupling. This effect correlates with an increased abundance of C×43-positive plaques at the cell-to-cell borders seen in apigenin-treated variants. Moreover, we observed an inhibitory effect of apigenin on the motility of MAT-LyLu cells. The basic parameters characterising MAT-LyLu cell motility, especially the rate of cell displacement, considerably decreased upon apigenin administration. This in vitro data indicates that apigenin may affect cancer development in general, and prostate carcinogenesis in particular, via its influence on cellular activities decisive for both cancer promotion and progression, including cell proliferation, gap junctional coupling and cell motility and invasiveness.


  • Prostate cancer
  • Cell motility
  • Gap junctional coupling
  • Apigenin