Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Online ISSN : 1347-5215
Print ISSN : 0918-6158
ISSN-L : 0918-6158
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The Essential Oils from Zanthoxylum schinifolium Pericarp Induce Apoptosis of HepG2 Human Hepatoma Cells through Increased Production of Reactive Oxygen Species
Soon-Young PaikKyung-Hee KohSung-Mok BeakSeung-Hwan PaekJung-Ae Kim
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2005 Volume 28 Issue 5 Pages 802-807


The volatile extract from dried pericarp of Zanthoxylum schinifolium that was obtained by simultaneous distillation with dichloromethane and water was composed of 29.9% geranyl acetate, 15.8% citronella, 15.4% sabinene and the minor volatile components included β-myrcene, linalool, (−)-isopulegol, citronellyl acetate, 1,4-dimethyl pyrazole, α-terpinene, 3-methyl-6-(1-methylethyl)-2-cyclo-hexene-1-o1 and trans-geraniol. The volatile extract decreased the cell viability and induced apoptotic death in HepG2 human hepatoma cells in a concentration- and time-related manner. In addition, the volatile extract increased the production of reactive oxygen species in a dose-dependent manner. Pretreatment of the cells with Trolox, a well-known antioxidant, significantly suppressed the generation of reactive oxygen species and cell death induced by the extract. However, caspase-3 activity was not changed in the extract-treated cells, suggesting that the extract-induced apoptosis of HepG2 cells is caspase-3 independent. Furthermore, in nude mice inoculated with Huh-7 human hepatoma cells, the extract significantly inhibited tumor development. These results suggest that the volatile extract from Zanthoxylum schinifolium pericarpium is a good candidate for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) therapy and that reactive oxygen species are the key signaling molecules in the volatile extract-induced cell death in HepG2 cells.

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© 2005 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
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