An immunomodulatory polysaccharide-rich substance from the fruit juice of Morinda citrifolia (noni) with antitumour activity

Phytother Res. 1999 Aug;13(5):380-7. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-1573(199908/09)13:5<380::aid-ptr463>;2-m.


The fruit juice of Morinda citrifolia (noni) contains a polysaccharide-rich substance (noni-ppt) with antitumour activity in the Lewis lung (LLC) peritoneal carcinomatosis model. Therapeutic administration of noni-ppt significantly enhanced the duration of survival of inbred syngeneic LLC tumour bearing mice. It did not exert significant cytotoxic effects in an adapted culture of LLC cells, LLC1, but could activate peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) to impart profound toxicity when co-cultured with the tumour cells. This suggested the possibility that noni-ppt may suppress tumour growth through activation of the host immune system. Concomitant treatment with the immunosuppressive agent, 2-chloroadenosine (C1-Ade) or cyclosporin (cys-A) diminished its activity, thereby substantiating an immunomodulatory mechanism. Noni-ppt was also capable of stimulating the release of several mediators from murine effector cells, including tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-10, IL-12 p70, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and nitric oxide (NO), but had no effect on IL-2 and suppressed IL-4 release. Improved survival time and curative effects occurred when noni-ppt was combined with sub-optimal doses of the standard chemotherapeutic agents, adriamycin (Adria), cisplatin (CDDP), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and vincristine (VCR), suggesting important clinical applications of noni-ppt as a supplemental agent in cancer treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / analysis
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / isolation & purification
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / analysis
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Beverages
  • Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Exudates and Transudates / metabolism
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nitrites / analysis
  • Plant Proteins / analysis
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Polysaccharides / analysis
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Carbohydrates
  • Cytokines
  • Nitrites
  • Plant Proteins
  • Polysaccharides