Abstract Title:

The anticarcinogenic potential of essential oil and aqueous infusion from caper (Capparis spinosa L.).

Abstract Source:

Food Chem. 2012 May 1 ;132(1):261-7. Epub 2011 Nov 10. PMID: 26434289

Abstract Author(s):

Tea Kulisic-Bilusic, Ingrid Schmöller, Kerstin Schnäbele, Laura Siracusa, Giuseppe Ruberto

Article Affiliation:

Tea Kulisic-Bilusic


The present study assessed the influence of essential oil and aqueous infusion from wild-grown caper (Capparis spinosa L.) on cell growth, NF-κB activation, apoptosis and cell cycle in the human colon carcinoma cell line, HT-29. Methyl isothiocyanate (92.06%), a degradation product of glucosinolate glucocapparin, was detected as major component of essential oil from caper leaves and flower buds. Aqueous infusion of caper showed an interesting and variegate compositional pattern containing several phenolic compounds, among which a flavonol glycoside, rutin (quercetin 3-O-rutinoside, 50.7%) and 5-caffeoyl-quinic acid (chlorogenic acid, 17.5%) were detected as dominant. Caper essential oil and aqueous infusion showed time- and dose-dependent high inhibitory effect on HT-29 cell proliferation. In addition, they induced the inhibition on nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activity in a dose-dependent manner, while they did not show any effect on apoptosis in HT-29 cells. Flow cytometric analysis indicated that treatment with caper essential oil and aqueous infusion resulted in G2/M cell cycle arrest in a dose-dependent manner. Presented results suggest that caper contains volatile and non-volatile compounds which potentially can play an important role in colon cancer prevention.

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