Effect of tea polyphenols on growth of oral squamous carcinoma cells in vitro

Anticancer Res. Sep-Oct 2000;20(5B):3459-65.


Epidemiologic evidence indicates that both black and green tea is a rich source of flavonoids and other polyphenolic antioxidants which protects against heart disease and cancer. In the current investigation, utilizing human oral squamous carcinoma cell line SCC-25, we have evaluated the effect of three major tea constituents, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG) and (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC) on cell growth and DNA synthesis. Test agents in concentrations of 50, 80, 100 and 200 microM were incubated in triplicates in DMEM-HAM's F-12 (50: 50) supplemented with 10% calf serum and antibiotics in an atmosphere of 5% CO2 in air for 72 hrs. Cell growth was determined by alamarBlue assay method and DNA synthesis was measured by the incorporation of [3H]-thymidine in nuclear DNA. At the four dose levels used, the three compounds induced significant dose-dependent inhibition in cell growth. In DNA study, the three compounds exhibited stimulatory effect at 50 microM followed by significant dose-dependent inhibitory effect (10 to 100%) at 80, 100 and 200 microM dose levels. Dose-dependent changes in cell morphology were also observed with phase-contrast microscopy after cell treatment with EGCG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • DNA, Neoplasm / biosynthesis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Polymers / pharmacology*
  • Tea*
  • Tongue Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Tongue Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Tongue Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Flavonoids
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Phenols
  • Polymers
  • Tea
  • Catechin
  • epicatechin gallate
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • gallocatechol