Antiproliferative effect of polyphenols and sterols of virgin argan oil on human prostate cancer cell lines

Cancer Detect Prev. 2007;31(1):64-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cdp.2006.09.006. Epub 2006 Dec 13.


Background: The aim of our study has to evaluate the antiproliferative effect of polyphenols and sterols extracted from the virgin argan oil on three human prostatic cell lines (DU145, LNCaP, and PC3).

Methods: Cytotoxicity, anti-proliferative effects and nuclear morphological changes of cells were analyzed after treatment with sterols and polyphenols. The results were compared to 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME(2)) as positive control.

Results: Polyphenols and sterols of virgin argan oil and 2ME(2) exhibited a dose-response cytotoxic effect and antiproliferative action on the three tested cell lines. The antiproliferative effect of polyphenols was similar for the DU145 and LNCaP cell lines; the GI(50) (defined as the concentration inhibiting growth by 50% in comparison with the control) was respectively 73 and 70microg/ml. The antiproliferative effect of sterols was 46 and 60microg/ml as GI(50) for the DU145 and LNCaP cell lines. For the PC3 cell line, the best antiproliferative effect was obtained by argan sterols with GI(50)=43microg/ml. On the other hand, the nuclear morphology analyses have shown an increased proportion of pro-apoptotic of nuclei in LNCaP cell treated with IC(50) of polyphenols or sterols compared to control cells. Our results show for the first time the antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of polyphenols and sterols extracted from virgin argan oil and confirm the antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of 2ME(2) on prostate cancer cell lines.

Conclusion: These data suggest that argan oil may be interesting in the development of new strategies for prostate cancer prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2-Methoxyestradiol
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Estradiol / analogs & derivatives
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Male
  • Mitosis / drug effects
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Sapotaceae*
  • Sterols / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tubulin Modulators / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils
  • Polyphenols
  • Sterols
  • Tubulin Modulators
  • Estradiol
  • 2-Methoxyestradiol