Induction of apoptosis by lupeol and mango extract in mouse prostate and LNCaP cells

Nutr Cancer. 2008;60(1):120-30. doi: 10.1080/01635580701613772.


Prostate cancer (PCA) is one of the most invasive malignancy and second leading cause of cancer related deaths in United States and some other countries. Long latency period makes PCA an ideal disease for pharmacologic or nutritional chemoprevention. Lupeol, a triterpene present in mango and other fruits, has shown to possess anticancer properties in in vivo and in vitro assays. Here, we recorded the apoptogenic activity in mouse prostate by lupeol and mango pulp extract (MPE). Testosterone was injected subcutaneously (5 mg/kg body weight) for 14 consecutive days to male Swiss albino mice. Lupeol/MPE supplementation resulted in arrest of prostate enlargement in testosterone-treated animals. In mouse prostate tissue, lupeol and MPE supplementation resulted in a significantly high percentage of apoptotic cells in the hypodiploid region. The induction of apoptosis in mouse prostate cells was preceded by the loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential and DNA laddering. In testosterone-induced mouse prostate, upregulation of antiapoptotic B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma-2 and downregulation of proapoptotic Bcl-2-associated X protein and caspase-3 were also recorded. We further observed apoptogenic activities of lupeol in an in vitro model using human prostate cancer cells [lymph node carcinoma of the prostate (LNCaP)]. The apoptogenic response of lupeol-induced changes in LNCaP cells can be summarized as early increase of reactive oxygen species followed by induction of mitochondrial pathway leading to cell death. Thus, the results of this study demonstrate that lupeol/MPE is effective in combating testosterone-induced changes in mouse prostate as well as causing apoptosis by modulating cell-growth regulators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mangifera / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / pathology
  • Pentacyclic Triterpenes
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Testosterone / pharmacology
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology*
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Pentacyclic Triterpenes
  • Plant Extracts
  • Triterpenes
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Testosterone
  • Caspase 3
  • lupeol