Preparative chromatography of flavonoids and saponins in Gynostemma pentaphyllum and their antiproliferation effect on hepatoma cell

Phytomedicine. 2010 Dec 15;18(1):2-10. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.09.004. Epub 2010 Oct 30.


A preparative column chromatographic method was developed to isolate flavonoids and saponins from Gynostemma pentaphyllum, a Chinese Medicinal herb, and evaluate their antiproliferation effect on hepatoma cell Hep3B, with the standards rutin and ginsenoside Rb(3) being used for comparison. Initially the powdered G. pentaphyllum was extracted with ethanol, followed by eluting flavonoids and saponins with ethanol-water (30:70, v/v) and 100% ethanol, respectively, in an open-column containing 5 g of Cosmosil 75C(18)-OPN, and then subjected to HPLC-MS analysis. The flavonoid fraction was mainly composed of quercetin- and kaempferol-glycosides, while in saponin fraction, both ginsenoside Rb(3) and ginsenoside Rd dominated. Both fractions were more effective against Hep3B cells than the standards rutin and ginsenoside Rb(3), with the cell cycle being arrested at G0/G1 phase for all the treatments. Additionally, the inhibition effect followed a dose-dependent increase for all the sample treatments. The result of this study may be used as a basis for possible phytopreparations in the future with G. pentaphyllum as raw material.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / analysis
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use
  • Gynostemma / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Leaves
  • Reference Values
  • Saponins / analysis
  • Saponins / pharmacology*
  • Saponins / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Flavonoids
  • Saponins