Apoptosis induction of Persicae Semen extract in human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells

Arch Pharm Res. 2003 Feb;26(2):157-61. doi: 10.1007/BF02976663.


The major ingredient of Persicae Semen is a cynogenic compound, amygdalin (D-mandelonitrile-beta-gentiobioside). Controversial results on the anticancer activity of amygdalin were reported due to its conversion to its inactive isomer, neoamygdalin. In order to inhibit the epimerization of amygdalin, we used newly developed simple acid boiling method in preparation of Persicae Semen extract. HPLC analysis revealed most of amygdalin in Persicae Semen extract was active D-form. Persicae Semen extract was used to analyze its effect on cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis in human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells. Persicae Semen extract was cytotoxic to HL-60 cells with IC50 of 6.4 mg/mL in the presence of 250 nM of beta-glucosidase. The antiproliferative effects of Persicae Semen extract appear to be attributable to its induction of apoptotic cell death, as Persicae Semen extract induced nuclear morphology changes and internucleosomal DNA fragmentation.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdalin / isolation & purification*
  • Amygdalin / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • DNA, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / genetics
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / pathology*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Plant Extracts
  • Amygdalin