Homeopathy 2017; 106(01): 32-36
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2017.01.003
Original Paper
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy 2017

Effects of ultra-high dilutions of sodium butyrate on viability and gene expression in HEK 293 cells

Steven Olsen

Subject Editor:
Further Information

Publication History

Received08 August 2016
received06 December 2016

accepted24 January 2017

Publication Date:
20 December 2017 (online)

Background: Several recent studies reported the capability of high diluted homeopathic medicines to modulate gene expression in cell cultures. In line with these studies, we examined whether ultra-high dilutions (30C and 200C) of sodium butyrate (SB) can affect the expression levels of genes involved in acquisition of a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells.

Methods: Cell viability was evaluated using a 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The expression levels of TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10 genes were determined by real-time PCR assay.

Results: Exposure to both 30C and 200C during 48 h led to a significant decrease of the level of expression of TNF-α gene, while expression of IL-2 gene was increased when exposed to 30C, and expression of IL-10 gene was decreased when exposed to 200C. No changes in expression levels of all genes studied were observed in cells treated with both 30C and 200C remedies of SB during the 24 h.

Conclusion: Observed changes in gene expression levels after exposure to 30C and 200C remedies of SB during 48 h suggest that extremely low concentrations of this agent can modulate the transcriptome of HEK 293 cells. These results are in line with findings from other studies confirming the ability of homeopathic remedies to modulate gene expression in cell cultures. Homeopathy (2017) 106, 32–36.

  • References

  • 1 Ramey D.W., Wagner M., Imrie R.H., Victor S. Homeopathy and science: a closer look. Technol J Frankl Inst 1999; 6: 95-105.
  • 2 Hochberg Z., Feil R., Constancia M. et al. Child health, developmental plasticity, and epigenetic programming. Endocr Rev 2011; 32: 159-224.
  • 3 Jeltsch A., Jurkowska R.Z. New concepts in DNA methylation. Trends Biochem Sci 2014; 39: 310-318.
  • 4 Wang F., Higgins J.M. Histone modifications and mitosis: countermarks, landmarks, and bookmarks. Trends Cell Biol 2013; 23: 175-184.
  • 5 Dogini D.B., Pascoal V.D., Avansini S.H., Vieira A.S., Pereira T.C., Lopes-Cendes I. The new world of RNAs. Genet Mol Biol 2014; 37: 285-293.
  • 6 Bellavite P., Marzotto M., Olioso D., Moratti E., Conforti A. High-dilution effects revisited. 2. Pharmacodynamic mechanisms. Homeopathy 2014; 103: 22-43.
  • 7 Das S., Saha S.K., De A., Das D., Khuda-Bukhsh A.R. Potential of the homeopathic remedy, Arnica Montana 30C, to reduce DNA damage in Escherichia coli exposed to ultraviolet irradiation through up-regulation of nucleotide excision repair genes. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao 2012; 10: 337-346.
  • 8 Das D., De A., Dutta S., Biswas R., Boujedaini N., Khuda-Bukhsh A.R. Potentized homeopathic drug Arsenicum Album 30C positively modulates protein biomarkers and gene expressions in Saccharomyces cerevisae exposed to arsenate. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao 2011; 9: 752-760.
  • 9 De A., Das D., Dutta S., Chakraborty D., Boujedaini N., Khuda-Bukhsh A.R. Potentiated homeopathic drug Arsenicum Album 30C inhibits intracellular reactive oxygen species generation and up-regulates expression of arsenic resistance gene in arsenite-exposed bacteria Escherichia coli . Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao 2012; 10: 210-227.
  • 10 de Oliveira C.C., de Oliveira S.M., Goes V.M., Probst C.M., Krieger M.A., Buchi D.F. Gene expression profiling of macrophages following mice treatment with an immunomodulator medication. J Cell Biochem 2008; 104: 1364-1377.
  • 11 Bigagli E., Luceri C., Bernardini S., Dei A., Dolara P. Extremely low copper concentrations affect gene expression profiles of human prostate epithelial cell lines. Chem Biol Interact 2010; 188: 214-219.
  • 12 Preethi K., Ellanghiyil S., Kuttan G., Kuttan R. Induction of apoptosis of tumor cells by some potentiated homeopathic drugs: implications on mechanism of action. Integr Cancer Ther 2012; 11: 172-182.
  • 13 Marzotto M., Olioso D., Brizzi M., Tononi P., Cristofoletti M., Bellavite P. Extreme sensitivity of gene expression in human SH-SY5Y neurocytes to ultra-low doses of Gelsemium sempervirens . BMC Complement Altern Med 2014; 19 (14) 104.
  • 14 Olioso D., Marzotto M., Moratti E., Brizzi M., Bellavite P. Effects of Gelsemium sempervirens L. on pathway-focused gene expression profiling in neuronal cells. J Ethnopharmacol 2014; 153: 535-539.
  • 15 Sunila E.S., Kuttan R., Preethi K.C., Kuttan G. Dynamized preparations in cell culture. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2009; 6: 257-263.
  • 16 Bigagli E., Luceri C., Dei A., Bernardini S., Dolara P. Effects of extreme dilutions of Apis mellifica preparations on gene expression profiles of human cells. Dose Response 2016; 14: 1-7.
  • 17 Vaiserman A.M., Pasyukova E.G. Epigenetic drugs: a novel anti-aging strategy?. Front Genet 2012; 3: 224.
  • 18 Kruh J. Effects of sodium butyrate, a new pharmacological agent, on cells in culture. Mol Cell Biochem 1981; 42: 65-82.
  • 19 Pajak B., Orzechowski A., Gajkowska B. Molecular basis of sodium butyrate–dependent proapoptotic activity in cancer cells. Adv Med Sci 2007; 52: 83-88.
  • 20 Oike T., Ogiwara H., Amornwichet N., Nakano T., Kohno T. Chromatin-regulating proteins as targets for cancer therapy. J Radiat Res 2014; 55: 613-628.
  • 21 Vaiserman A.M., Koliada A.K., Koshel N.M. et al. Effect of the histone deacetylase inhibitor sodium butyrate on the viability and life span in Drosophila melanogaster . Adv Gerontol 2012; 25: 126-131.
  • 22 Vaiserman A.M., Koshel N.M., Zabuga O.G. et al. Determination of geroprotective potential of sodium butyrate in Drosophila melanogaster: long-term effects. Adv Gerontol 2013; 26: 111-116.
  • 23 Chen T., Sun H., Lu J. et al. Histone acetylation is involved in hsp70 gene transcription regulation in Drosophila melanogaster . Arch Biochem Biophys 2002; 408: 171-176.
  • 24 Zhao Y., Sun H., Lu J. et al. Lifespan extension and elevated hsp gene expression in Drosophila caused by histone deacetylase inhibitors. J Exp Biol 208 2005; 697-705.
  • 25 Zhao Y.M., Chen X., Sun H. et al. Effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors on transcriptional regulation of the hsp70 gene in Drosophila . Cell Res 2006; 16: 566-576.
  • 26 Zhao Y., Lu J., Sun H. et al. Roles of histone acetylation modification in basal and inducible expression of hsp26 gene in D. melanogaster . Mol Cell Biochem 2007; 306: 1-8.
  • 27 Vicente R., Mausset-Bonnefont A.L., Jorgensen C., Louis-Plence P., Brondello J.M. Cellular senescence impact on immune cell fate and function. Aging Cell 2016; 15: 400-406.
  • 28 Ovadya Y., Krizhanovsky V. Senescent cells: SASPected drivers of age-related pathologies. Biogerontology 2014; 15: 627-642.
  • 29 Tchkonia T., Zhu Y., van Deursen J., Campisi J., Kirkland J.L. Cellular senescence and the senescent secretory phenotype: therapeutic opportunities. J Clin Invest 2013; 123: 966-972.
  • 30 Byun H.O., Lee Y.K., Kim J.M., Yoon G. From cell senescence to age-related diseases: differential mechanisms of action of senescence-associated secretory phenotypes. BMB Rep 2015; 48: 549-558.