In vitro chemopreventive effects of plant polysaccharides (Aloe barbadensis miller, Lentinus edodes, Ganoderma lucidum and Coriolus versicolor)

Carcinogenesis. 1999 Aug;20(8):1637-40. doi: 10.1093/carcin/20.8.1637.


A plant polysaccharide, Aloe gel extract, was reported to have an inhibitory effect on benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P)-DNA adduct formation in vitro and in vivo. Hence, chemopreventive effects of plant polysaccharides [Aloe barbadensis Miller (APS), Lentinus edodes (LPS), Ganoderma lucidum (GPS) and Coriolus versicolor (CPS)] were compared using in vitro short-term screening methods associated with both initiation and promotion processes in carcinogenesis. In B[a]P-DNA adduct formation, APS (180 micrograms/ml) was the most effective in inhibition of B[a]P binding to DNA in mouse liver cells. Oxidative DNA damage (by 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine) was significantly decreased by APS (180 micrograms/ml) and CPS (180 micrograms/ml). In induction of glutathione S-transferase activity, GPS was found to be the most effective among plant polysaccharides. In screening anti-tumor promoting effects, APS (180 micrograms/ml) significantly inhibited phorbol myristic acetate (PMA)-induced ornithine decarboxylase activity in Balb/3T3 cells. In addition, APS significantly inhibited PMA-induced tyrosine kinase activity in human leukemic cells. APS and CPS significantly inhibited superoxide anion formation. These results suggest that some plant polysaccharides produced both anti-genotoxic and anti-tumor promoting activities in in vitro models and, therefore, might be considered as potential agents for cancer chemoprevention.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells / drug effects
  • Aloe / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / metabolism
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / pharmacology*
  • DNA Adducts / metabolism
  • DNA Adducts / pharmacology*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use
  • Enzyme Induction / drug effects
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • HL-60 Cells / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lentinula / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Reishi


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • DNA Adducts
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • benzo(a)pyrene-DNA adduct
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase