The exposure of human lymphoid leukemia Molt 4B cells to sesamolin, a compo
nent of sesame seed led to both growth inhibition and the induction of apop
tosis. Morphological change showing apoptotic bodies was observed in the ce
lls treated with sesamolin. The fragmentation of DNA by sesamolin to oligon
ucleosomal-sized fragments that are characteristics of apoptosis was observ
ed to be concentration- and time-dependent. These findings suggest that gro
wth inhibition of Molt 4B cells by sesamolin results from the induction of
apoptosis in the cells.