Cancer cell cytotoxicity of extracts and small phenolic compounds from Chaga [Inonotus obliquus (persoon) Pilat].J Med Food. 2009 Jun; 12(3):501-7.JM
Previously, we studied the antioxidant potential of Chaga mushroom [Inonotus obliquus (persoon) Pilat] extracts and isolated several small (poly)phenolic compounds as the major antioxidant components in the 80% methanol (MeOH) extract. In the present study, these isolated phenolic ingredients together with several other types of Chaga extracts were examined for cytotoxic effects against normal (IMR90) and cancer (A549, PA-1, U937, and HL-60) cell lines. Results revealed decoctions from both the fruiting body (FB) and sclerotium (ST) parts of Chaga, especially the ST part, showed considerable cytotoxicity toward tumor cells, but the cytotoxicity appeared to be stronger against normal cells than cancer cells. The 80% MeOH ST extract also showed the same trend. On the other hand, the 80% MeOH extract of FB showed significant cytotoxicity towards tumor cell lines without affecting normal cells, for example, the 50% lethal dose was 49.4 +/- 2.9 microg/mL for PA-1 cells versus 123.6 +/- 13.8 microg/mL for normal cells. The phenolic components isolated from the 80% MeOH extracts had markedly greater cancer cell toxicity than the extracts themselves. In particular, two out of seven compounds showed strong cytotoxicity towards several tumor cell lines without giving rise to significant cell toxicity toward normal cells. For example, the 50% lethal dose for 3,4-dihydroxybenzalacetone was 12.2 micromol/L in PA-1 cells but was 272.8 micromol/L in IMR90 cells. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis further revealed these phenolic ingredients have high potentiality for apoptosis induction in PA-1 cells.