Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of butyrolactone lignans from Arctium lappa on leukemic cells

Planta Med. 2006 Feb;72(3):276-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-916174.


In the course of screening for pharmacologically active substances from extracts of crude drugs used traditionally in Sino-Japanese herbal medicines, it was found that the 70 % ethanol extract from the fruits of Arctium lappa L. (Compositae) showed potent antiproliferative activity against B cell hybridoma cell, MH60. By bioassay-guided purification, a new lignan, (+)-7,8-didehydroarctigenin, together with the known lignans (-)-arctigenin and (-)-matairesinol were isolated as the active ingredients from an aqueous ethanolic extract of the fruits of A. lappa. Of these active compounds, (-)-arctigenin showed the most potent antiproliferative activity against MH60 cells (IC (50) : 1.0 microM), and the activity was suggested to be due to apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Arctium*
  • Cell Line, Tumor / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Lignans / administration & dosage
  • Lignans / pharmacology
  • Lignans / therapeutic use
  • Phytotherapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Lignans