Abstract Title:

Capsaicin induces apoptosis in SCC-4 human tongue cancer cells through mitochondria-dependent and -independent pathways.

Abstract Source:

Environ Toxicol. 2012 May ;27(6):332-41. Epub 2010 Oct 5. PMID: 20925121

Abstract Author(s):

Siu-Wan Ip, Sheng-Hui Lan, An-Cheng Huang, Jai-Sing Yang, Ya-Yin Chen, Hui-Ying Huang, Zen-Pin Lin, Yuan-Man Hsu, Mei-Due Yang, Chang-Fang Chiu, Jing-Gung Chung

Article Affiliation:

Department of Nutrition, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan.


Although there have been advances in the fields of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy of tongue cancer, the cure rates are still not substantially satisfactory. Capsaicin (trans-8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is the major pungent ingredient of hot chili pepper and has been reported to have an antitumor effect on many human cancer cell types. The molecular mechanisms of the antitumor effect of capsaicin are not yet completely understood. Herein, we investigated whether capsaicin induces apoptosis in human tongue cancer cells. Capsaicin decreased the percentage of viable cells in a dose-dependent manner in human tongue cancer SCC-4 cells. In addition, capsaicin produced DNA fragmentation, decreased the DNA contents (sub-G1 phase), and induced G0/G1 phase arrest in SCC-4 cells. We demonstrated that capsaicin-induced apoptosis is associated with an increase in reactive oxygen species and Ca²⁺ generations and a disruption of the mitochondrial transmenbrane potential (ΔΨ(m)). Treatment with capsaicin induced a dramatic increase in caspase-3 and -9 activities, as assessed by flow cytometric methods. A possible mechanism of capsaicin-induced apoptosis is involved in the activation ofcaspase-3 (one of the apoptosis-executing enzyme). Confocal laser microscope examination also showed that capsaicin induced the releases of AIF, ATF-4, and GADD153 from mitochondria of SCC-4 cells.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

Print Options

Key Research Topics

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2022 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.