Int J Oral Biol.  2010 Dec;35(4):153-158.

Growth Inhibition of Human Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas by Angelica decursiva Extracts

  • 1Oral Biology Research Institute, Chosun University School of Dentistry, Gwangju, Korea.


Angelica decursiva has been used in Korean traditional medicine as an antitussive, an analgesic, an antipyretic and a cough remedy. However, the anti-cancer properties of Angelica decursiva have not yet been well defined. In our current study the cytotoxic activity of ethanol extracts of Angelica decursiva root (EEAD) and the mechanism of cell death exhibited by EEAD were examined in FaDu human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells. The cytotoxic effects of EEAD upon the growth of FaDu cells were examined with an MTT assay. In addition, the mechanism of cell death induced by EEAD was evaluated by DNA fragmentation analysis, immunoblotting and caspase activation measurements. EEAD induced apoptotic cell death in FaDu cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, as determined by MTT assay and DNA fragmentation analysis. Furthermore, the proteolytic processing of caspase-3, -7 and -9 was increased by EEAD treatment of FaDu cells. In addition, the activation of caspase-3 and -7 was detected in living FaDu cells by fluorescence microscopy. These results suggest that EEAD can induce apoptosis and suppress cell growth in cancer cells and may have utility as a future anti-cancer therapy.


anti-cancer therapy; apoptosis; cell death; EEAD; FaDu human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
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