1 Citation (Scopus)


Cervical carcinoma is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. Despite advances in diagnosis and therapy, morbidity and mortality from this malignancy are still high. In this study, 14 kinds of medicinal plants were collected from Taiwan, and the abundance of polyphenols was confirmed based on the formation of colored complexes with FeCI3. Moreover, the cytotoxic effects of these complexes were evaluated in human oral epidermal (KB) and cervical (HeLa) carcinoma cell lines as compared with the effects on normal gastric and cervical fibroblasts using the MTT assay. The results showed that extracts of Hibiscus tiliaceus, Tamarix juniperina, and Cleyera joponica had no significantly cytotoxic effects on carcinoma cell lines, but all of other extracts did at 100 μg/mL for 48 h. However, the extract of Myrica rubra var. acuminata (Mra) exerted stronger cytotoxic effects on HeLa cells and lower cytotoxicity to primary cultured normal gastric fibroblasts. The chromatin condensation effect of Mra-treated normal cervical fibroblasts was observed by light microscopy, and the mechanism of Mra-induced cytotoxic effects on HeLa cells was explored. Mra-induced cytotoxicity occurred in a dose- and time-dependent manner. HeLa cells treated with Mra exhibited chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation as observed by microscopy, flow cytometry, and agarose gel electrophoresis. The above results suggest that Mra induced apoptosis in HeLa cells and normal cervical fibroblasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalNutritional Sciences Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Apoptosis
  • Cytotoxicity
  • HeLa
  • Medicinal plant
  • Myrica rubra var. acuminata
  • Myricaceae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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