Areca nut extract treatment elicits the fibroblastoid morphological changes, actin re-organization and signaling activation in oral keratinocytes

Shun Chun Yang, Shu Chun Lin, Wei Fan Chiang, Ching Yu Yen, Chi Hung Lin, Shyun Yeu Liu

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Areca (named as betel) is an important etiological factor linked with the high prevalence of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) in South-Asian countries. This in vitro study investigated the cellular changes and signaling activation in oral keratinocytes in response to areca nut extract (ANE) treatment. Methods: Normal human oral keratinocyte (NHOK) and oral epidermoid carcinoma cell, Meng-1 (OECM-1) OSCC cell line were treated with variable dosages of ripen ANE. The morphological and cytoskeletal changes, as well as the activation of GTPase proteins and signaling kinases, were analyzed. Results: Most NHOK cells in culture were polygonal, with only <5% cells exhibiting fibroblastoid morphology. However, 10 μg/ml ANE elicited fibroblastoid morphological change, genesis of lamellipodia, loss of subcortical actin, and stress-fiber formation in approximately 25% cultivated NHOK cells. Similar morphological changes were observed in nearly all OECM-1 cells following the ANE treatment. The activation of Rac and Rho GTPase, together with the prominent phosphorylation of a stress-activated kinases, particularly JNK1, was identified in treated OECM-1 cells. Conclusion: The novel evidences from the study that ANE impairs the actin organization and activates the signals in oral keratinocytes might bestow further insight into the impacts of ANE in oral pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-605
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Oral Pathology and Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Areca
  • GTPase
  • Mouth
  • Neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dentistry(all)

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