Pu-erh tea has in vitro anticancer activity in TCA8113 cells and preventive effects on buccal mucosa cancer in U14 cells injected mice in vivo

Nutr Cancer. 2014;66(6):1059-69. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2014.916317. Epub 2014 Jun 19.


Pu-erh tea is a functional tea production in China. The functional effects should be proved. The oral cancer preventive and antimetastatic effects of Pu-erh tea in vitro and in vivo have been studied respectively. Pu-erh tea showed an inhibitory effect on human tongue carcinoma TCA8113 cells proliferation tested by 3-(4,5-Dimethyl-2-Thiazolyl)-2,5-Diphenyltetrazolium Bromide assay and induced TCA8113 apoptosis shown anticancer effect. The antimetastatic effect of Pu-erh tea in TCA8113 cells was proved by the decreasing of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and increasing of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) mRNA transcription. In the animal experiments, the tumor volumes and lymph node metastasis rates of Pu-erh tea-treated mice were smaller than control mice. Pu-erh tea reduced the levels of the serum proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interferon-γ to a greater extent compared with the control mice, and the levels of 200 μg/mL treatment was more close to the normal mice than 100 μg/mL treated mice. Pu-erh tea also significantly induced apoptosis in tissues of mice (P < 0.05) by upregulating Bax and downregulating Bcl-2. These results demonstrate Pu-erh tea has cancer preventive and anti-metastatic effects on buccal mucosa cancer, the higher concentration get better efficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • China
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interleukin-12 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mouth Mucosa / cytology
  • Mouth Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Tea / chemistry*
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Up-Regulation
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / genetics
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BAX protein, human
  • Bax protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-6
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tea
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases