Tocopherols and saponins derived from Argania spinosa exert, an antiproliferative effect on human prostate cancer

Cancer Invest. 2006 Oct;24(6):588-92. doi: 10.1080/07357900600894815.


The aim of our study is to evaluate the antiproliferative effect of tocopherols obtained from alimentary virgin argan oil extracted from the endemic argan tree of Morocco and of saponins extracted from argan press cake on three human prostatic cell lines (DU145, LNCaP, and PC3). The results were compared to 2-methoxyestradiol as antiproliferative drug candidates. Cytotoxicity and antiproliferative effects were investigated after cells' treatment with tocopherols and saponins compared to 2-Methoxyoestradiol as the positive control. Tocopherols and saponins extracted from argan tree and 2-methoxyestradiol exhibit a dose-response cytotoxic effect and an antiproliferative action on the tested cell lines. The best antiproliferative effect of tocopherols is obtained with DU145 and LNCaP cell lines (28 microg/ml and 32 microg/ml, respectively, as GI50). The saponins fraction displayed the best antiproliferative effect on the PC3 cell line with 18 microg/ml as GI50. Our results confirm the antiproliferative effect of 2-methoxyestradiol and show for the first time the antiproliferative effect of tocopherols and saponins extracted from the argan tree on hormone-dependent and hormone-independent prostate cancer cell lines. These data suggest that argan oil is of potential interest in developing new strategies for prostate cancer prevention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 2-Methoxyestradiol
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Estradiol / analogs & derivatives
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / drug therapy
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Saponins / pharmacology*
  • Sapotaceae / chemistry*
  • Thymidine / metabolism
  • Tocopherols / pharmacology*
  • Trees / chemistry
  • Tubulin Modulators / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Oils
  • Saponins
  • Tubulin Modulators
  • Estradiol
  • 2-Methoxyestradiol
  • Tocopherols
  • Thymidine