In vitro chemopreventive activity of Camellia sinensis, Ilex paraguariensis and Ardisia compressa tea extracts and selected polyphenols

Marco Vinicio Ramirez-Mares, Sonia Chandra, Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia
Mutation Research 2004 October 4, 554 (1): 53-65
Several herbal teas contain bioactive compounds that have been associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases including cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the chemopreventive activity of tea aqueous extracts and selected constituent pure polyphenols using a battery of in vitro marker systems relevant for the prevention of cancer. The effects of (-) epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), quercetin (Q), gallic acid (GA), green tea (GT, Camellia sinensis), ardisia tea (AT, Ardisia compressa) and mate tea (MT, Ilex paraguariensis) extracts were tested. Cytotoxicity, TPA-induced ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and quinone reductase (QR) activities were evaluated in vitro using HepG2 cells. The topoisomerase inhibitory activity was also tested, using the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast system. Results suggest that MT, AT and GT are cytotoxic to the HepG2 cells, with MT demonstrating dominant cytotoxicity. EGCG showed greater cytotoxicity than Q and GA against HepG2 cells. The greatest inhibition (82%) of TPA-induced ODC activity was shown by Q, with 25 microM (IC50 = 11.90 microM). Topoisomerase II, but not topoisomerase I, was the cellular target of MT, AT, EGCG, Q and GA, which acted mainly as true catalytic inhibitors. The cytotoxic activity and the inhibition of topoisomerase II may contribute to the overall chemopreventive activity of AT and MT extracts. Ardisia and mate teas may thus share a public health potential as chemopreventive agents.

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