Dioscin, a saponin extracted from the root of Polygonatum Zanlanscianense Pamp, markedly inhibited proliferation of Hela cells. The results indicated that Hela cells underwent apoptosis in dose- and time-dependent manners when treated with Dioscin. Caspase-3, -8 and -9 activities were also detected. The low enzymatic activity of caspase-8 and high activity of caspase-9 showed that the mitochondrial pathway was activated in apoptosis. The reduced expression of the survival protein Bcl-2 also confirmed this result. These studies may be significant in finding a new drug to treat human cervical cancer.
2002 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan