Kaempferol, a potential cytostatic and cure for inflammatory disorders

Eur J Med Chem. 2014 Oct 30;86:103-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2014.08.011. Epub 2014 Aug 5.


Kaempferol (3,5,7-trihydroxy-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one) is a flavonoid found in many edible plants (e.g., tea, broccoli, cabbage, kale, beans, endive, leek, tomato, strawberries, and grapes) and in plants or botanical products commonly used in traditional medicine (e.g., Ginkgo biloba, Tilia spp, Equisetum spp, Moringa oleifera, Sophora japonica and propolis). Its anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory effects have been demonstrated in various disease models, including those for encephalomyelitis, diabetes, asthma, and carcinogenesis. Moreover, kaempferol act as a scavenger of free radicals and superoxide radicals as well as preserve the activity of various anti-oxidant enzymes such as catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione-S-transferase. The anticancer effect of this flavonoid is mediated through different modes of action, including anti-proliferation, apoptosis induction, cell-cycle arrest, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and anti-metastasis/anti-angiogenesis activities. In addition, kaempferol was found to exhibit its anticancer activity through the modulation of multiple molecular targets including p53 and STAT3, through the activation of caspases, and through the generation of ROS. The anti-tumor effects of kaempferol have also been investigated in tumor-bearing mice. The combination of kaempferol and conventional chemotherapeutic drugs produces a greater therapeutic effect than the latter, as well as reduces the toxicity of the latter. In this review, we summarize the anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects of kaempferol with a focus on its molecular targets and the possible use of this flavonoid for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Chemoprevention; Flavanoids; Inflammatory diseases; Kaempferol.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cytostatic Agents / chemistry
  • Cytostatic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Kaempferols
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cytostatic Agents
  • Kaempferols
  • kaempferol