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The antiproliferative effect of pterostilbene on colon cancer cells in vitro

Joanna M. Wawszczyk ,  Małgorzata Kapral ,  Andrzej Hollek ,  Ludmiła Węglarz 

Department of Biochemistry, Medical University of Silesia, Jedności 8, Sosnowiec 41-200, Poland


Colon cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer mortality in Poland in the last years. Epidemiological studies showed that dietary phytochemicals may exert chemopreventive and therapeutic effect against colorectal cancer. There is a growing interest in identifying new biologically active agents from dietary sources in this respect. Pterostilbene (trans-3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxystilbene) is a naturally occurring stilbene, that has been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative properties. The greater bioavailability of pterostilbene than other stilbenes indicated that it could be potentially developed for clinical applications. Recent studies showed that pterostilbene exhibits the hallmark characteristics of an effective anticancer agent based on its antineoplastic properties in several common cancers.

The aim of this study was to analyze antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects of pterostilbene on human colon cancer cells Caco-2. They were cultured using standard techniques and exposed to increasing doses of pterostilbene (5-100 mM) for 48 and 72 h. Cell proliferation was determined by sulforhodamine B assay. The growth of treated cells was expressed as a percentage of untreated control cells. Pterostilbene decreased proliferation rate of Caco-2 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Its concentrations ≤ 25 mM did not affect cell growth for 48 hours treatment. Significant growth inhibition was observed in cell cultures incubated with higher concentrations of pterostilbene (40-100 mM). The prolongation of cells exposure to stilbenoid at all concentrations used (5-100 mM) up to 72 h resulted in their considerable growth inhibition. The maximum growth reduction was observed at 100 mM pterostilbene (73-78% of control).

The findings of this study showed significant antiproliferative effects of pterostilbene against human colon cancer cells in vitro.


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Submitted: 2014-03-12 10:31
Revised:   2014-05-02 19:32