Antitumor effect of the stem bark of Acanthopanax senticosus HARMS (ASH) fr
om Hokkaido (Japanese name: Ezoukogi) on human stomach cancer KATO III cell
s was investigated. The extract of the stem bark of ASH prepared with hot w
ater was dissolved in distilled water and used for the assay of antitumor e
ffect on the KATO III cells. The exposure of KATO III cells to ASH led to b
oth growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis. Morphological change show
ing apoptotic bodies was observed in the cells treated with ASH. The fragme
ntation by ASH of DNA to oligo-nucleosomal-sized fragments that are charact
eristics of apoptosis was observed to be concentration- and time-dependent.
We have investigated which component in ASH is effective on the induction
of apoptosis. Among chlorogenic acid, syringaresinol di-o-beta-D glucoside,
syringin, and sesamin, components of the n-butanol extract prepared from A
SH, sesamin suppressed the growth and induced apoptosis in the cells. These
findings suggest that growth inhibition by ASH results from the apoptosis
induced by sesamin, a component of ASH.