Inhibitory effects of ursolic and oleanolic acid on skin tumor promotion by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate

Cancer Lett. 1986 Dec;33(3):279-85. doi: 10.1016/0304-3835(86)90067-4.


Ursolic acid (UA) and oleanolic acid (OA), which had been isolated from Glechoma hederacea as inhibitors of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) activation induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), were tested against inhibitory effect on tumor promotion by TPA in vivo. They inhibited effectively the tumor promotion in mouse skin and the activities were comparable to that of a known inhibitor of tumor promotion, retinoic acid (RA). Interestingly, UA was more effective on a single application before initial TPA-treatment than on a continuous application before each TPA-treatment, while OA and RA were ineffective in the same treatment. These data suggest that the role of UA for inhibitory action on tumor promotion differs slightly from those of RA and OA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Oleanolic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Sapogenins / pharmacology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Sapogenins
  • Triterpenes
  • Tretinoin
  • Oleanolic Acid
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • ursolic acid