Chemoprevention of colorectal cancer by grape seed proanthocyanidin is accompanied by a decrease in proliferation and increase in apoptosis

Nutr Cancer. 2004;49(1):81-8. doi: 10.1207/s15327914nc4901_11.


Effects of proanthocyanidin (PA), procyanidin B-2 (B-2), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) on azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colonic preneoplastic aberrant crypt foci (ACF) formation were investigated using F344 rats. The numbers of total ACF in rats treated with 0.002% PA and 0.05% B-2 were significantly decreased compared with the AOM alone group (control). Cell proliferation in the colon, as shown by proliferating cells nuclear antigen (PCNA), was also reduced in those treatments. The single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) labeling index, a marker for apoptosis, was significantly increased in 0.002% PA and 0.05% B-2 groups compared with control. Moreover, the numbers of CD11b/c+ cells (macrophages) and NKR-P1A+ cells (NK cells) in the all groups were significantly increased compared with control. In an in vitro study using rat colon cancer cell line RCN-9, PA, especially 5-10mer of PA (PA5/10), strong growth inhibition was shown. PA5/10 caused the most remarkable apoptosis as cleared by FACS analysis. These cells showed significantly increased caspase-3 activity. The results would suggest that the PA, especially PA5/10, might strongly enhance caspase-3 activity and cause apoptosis in cancer cells. PA at fairly low doses in the long term might serve as an effective means for preventing colon carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Azoxymethane / toxicity
  • Biflavonoids / pharmacology
  • Biflavonoids / therapeutic use
  • Carcinogens / toxicity
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases / drug effects
  • Caspases / metabolism*
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Catechin / therapeutic use
  • Cell Division / drug effects*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacology*
  • Proanthocyanidins / therapeutic use
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344


  • Antioxidants
  • Biflavonoids
  • Carcinogens
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • proanthocyanidin
  • procyanidin B2
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • Casp3 protein, rat
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases
  • Azoxymethane