Antiproliferative effects of different plant parts of Panax notoginseng on SW480 human colorectal cancer cells

Phytother Res. 2009 Jan;23(1):6-13. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2383.


The chemical constituents and antiproliferative effects on SW480 human colorectal cancer cells of different plant parts of P. notoginseng were evaluated. The contents of saponins in extracts from root, rhizome, flower and berry of P. notoginseng were determined using high performance liquid chromatography. The contents and proportions of saponins were different among the four plant parts. Using the cell counting method, the antiproliferative effects were evaluated and the results indicated all four extracts, at 0.05-1.0 mg/mL, showed concentration-related antiproliferative effects on the cancer cells. The flower extract had stronger effects compared with the other three extracts; at 1.0 mg/mL, it inhibited the cell growth by 93.1% (p < 0.01). The antiproliferative effects of major saponins in notoginseng, notoginsenoside R1, ginsenosides Rb1, Rb3 and Rg1, were also evaluated, and the observed effects of major constituents support the pharmacological activities of extracts. The effects of notoginseng extracts on cell cycle and apoptosis of SW480 cells were determined using flow cytometry. Notoginseng extract can arrest the cells in S and G2/M phases. Remarkably apoptosis induction activities of notoginseng extracts were observed with the flower extract possessing the most potent effect, supporting the antiproliferative effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Flowers / chemistry
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Ginsenosides / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Panax notoginseng / chemistry*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Rhizome / chemistry


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Ginsenosides
  • Panax notoginseng extract