Abstract Title:

Palm tocotrienols inhibit proliferation of murine mammary cancer cells and induce expression of interleukin-24 mRNA.

Abstract Source:

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2010 Dec;30(12):909-16. PMID: 21121862

Abstract Author(s):

Kanga Rani Selvaduray, Ammu K Radhakrishnan, Methil Kannan Kutty, Kalanithi Nesaretnam

Article Affiliation:

Product Development and Advisory Services, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia. [email protected]


Several mechanisms have been postulated for the anticancer effects of tocotrienols. In this study, for the first time, the anticancer effect of tocotrienols is linked to increased expression of interleukin-24 (IL-24) mRNA, a cytokine reported to have antitumor effects in many cancer models. Tocotrienol isomers (α-T3, γ-T3, and δ-T3) and tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) inhibited the growth of the 4T1 murine mammary cancer cells (P < 0.05), with IC₅₀ values 8.99, 4.79, 3.73, and 8.63 μg/mL, respectively. Tumor incidence and tumor load in TRF-supplemented BALB/c mice was decreased by 57.1% and 93.6% (P < 0.05), respectively. The induction of the IL-24 mRNA in the 4T1 cells by vitamin E decreased in the following order: δ-T3 > γ-T3 > TRF > α-T3 > α-T, which was similar to their antiproliferative effects. The IL-24 mRNA levels in tumor tissues of BALB/c mice supplemented with TRF increased 2-fold when compared with control mice. Increased levels of IL-24 have been associated with inhibition of tumor growth and angiogenesis. Treatment of 4T1 cells with TRF and δ-T3 significantly decreased IL-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA levels. Hence, we report that tocotrienols have potent antiangiogenic and antitumor effects that is associated with increased levels of IL-24 mRNA.

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