Anti-angiogenesis effect of essential oil from Curcuma zedoaria in vitro and in vivo

J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jan 7;133(1):220-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.09.031.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Curcuma zedoaria (Berg.) Rosc., a traditional Chinese herb, was used widely but absolutely prohibited for the pregnant in clinic. Based on that there is abundant angiogenesis in endometrium and placenta during gestation period, we hypothesized that some components from it could inhibit angiogenesis and then damaged the supply of oxygen and nutrition to the embryo, which finally led to gestation failure.

Aim of the study: This study was set to demonstrate whether essential oil, major components of Curcuma zedoaria had anti-angiogenic effect.

Materials and methods: Essential oil of Curcuma zedoaria (EO-CZ) was abstracted by steam distillation extraction. Cell proliferation assay and two angiogenic models, rat aortic ring assay and chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane assay were presented. Furthermore, melanoma growth and experimental lung metastasis assay in mice were performed to evaluate its anti-angiogenesis effect in vivo. Immunohistochemical analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used to respectively detect the expression of CD34 and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).

Results: EO-CZ exhibited anti-proliferative effect on B16BL6 and SMMC-7721 cells, the IC(50), respectively was 41.8 μg/ml and 30.7 μg/ml, and on HUVEC (Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells) cells with IC(50) of far more than 120 μg/ml. Both 20 μg/ml and 40 μg/ml EO-CZ indicated significant suppression on sprouting vessels of aortic ring and formation of microvessels in chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane in vitro. Moreover, solid melanoma grown in left oxter of mice was obviously inhibited after oral intake of 100 and 200 mg/kg of EO-CZ a day for 28 days, and CD34 expression indicating angiogenesis in melanoma reduced significantly compared with control; melanoma metastatic nodules in lung were detected to be inhibited, as well as MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression in serum.

Conclusions: Essential oil, a fat-soluble fraction of Curcuma zedoaria, presented anti-angiogenic activity in vitro and in vivo, resulting in suppressing melanoma growth and lung metastasis. And this was associated with down-regulating MMPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Aorta, Thoracic / drug effects
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chorioallantoic Membrane / drug effects
  • Curcuma*
  • Endothelial Cells
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Liver Neoplasms
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Melanoma, Experimental / blood supply
  • Melanoma, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rhizome


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts