In vivo toxicity and antitumor activity of mangosteen extract


Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) has been widely used in the traditional medicine of Thailand to treat various ailments, especially diseases of the digestive system and infections. Many reports show antiproliferation of crude extracts and active constituents from mangosteen against many cancer cell lines. Therefore, the current study is proposed to demonstrate in vivo evidence on the antitumor activity of mangosteen. Crude methanolic extract (CME) from mangosteen pericarp including 25.19 % α-mangostin as an active xanthone was used in this study. The inhibition on tumor cell proliferation of CME was preliminarily evaluated against the murine colon cancer cell line NL-17 with an IC50 value of 17 and 84 μg/ml based on WST-1 and LDH assays, respectively. The safety dose for animal application was assessed by in vivo toxicity studies using female BALB/c mice. Acute toxicity showed an LD50 value and approximate lethal dose at 1,000 mg/kg, whereas the suitable dose for short-term study should be ≤200 mg/kg. The effective dose for antitumor activity of CME was found to be between 100 and 200 mg/kg, with a tumor size reduction of 50–70 %. Histological staining clearly illustrated a decrease of tumor cell density in the footpad in a dose-dependent manner. The median survival time and life span significantly increased in tumor-bearing mice with CME treatment. This study suggests that CME possesses a powerful antitumor activity. Therefore, it is worth undertaking further investigation to identify active compounds and obtain a deeper understanding of their mechanism, in order to acquire novel effective anticancer drugs.

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The authors would like to thank the Thailand Research Fund through the Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D. Program (Grant No. PHD/0011/2547), Medical Plant Research Institute, Ministry of Public Health, and Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University, for the financial support.

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The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Primchanien Moongkarndi.

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Kosem, N., Ichikawa, K., Utsumi, H. et al. In vivo toxicity and antitumor activity of mangosteen extract. J Nat Med 67, 255–263 (2013).

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  • Garcinia mangostana
  • α-Mangostin
  • Antiproliferative activity
  • In vivo toxicity
  • Antitumor activity