Planta Med 2008; 74 - PA18
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1084016

Chemopreventive effect of Lawsonia inermis L. powder in the Epstein-Barr virus early antigen activation assay and the mouse skin two-stage carcinogenesis

GJ Kapadia 1, MA Azuine 1, 2, M Takayasu 3, T Konoshima 3, J Takayasu 4 H Tokuda 4,
  • 1School of Pharmacy, Howard University, 2300 4th Street NW, Washington, DC 20059, USA
  • 2TransWorld Development Initiatives Inc., P. O. Box 105, Brentwood, MD. 20722, USA
  • 3Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan
  • 4Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan

The crude powder of the leaves of Lawsonia inermis L commonly known as „Henna“ is a known medicinal plant with intrinsic cancer chemopreventive potentials. In this report, we have assessed the anti-cancer potentials of Henna powder in the promotion stage of cancer development employing the in vitro Epstein-Barr virus early antigen activation assay induced by the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Further, we studied the activities of this powder in the ultraviolet light-B (3430J/m2)-initiated and TPA-promoted mouse skin two-stage carcinogenesis protocol. Henna powder, either in acetone or DMSO showed a similar profound inhibitory effect on the Epstein-Barr virus early antigen induction using Raji cells. In the animal bioassay, at a 50-fold molar ratio to TPA, Henna powder (50mg) dissolved in 100ml of acetone offered more than 40% and 70% reduction in mouse skin papillomas and tumor incidence respectively, at 10 weeks of treatment. These data suggest that the extract as well as the principal compounds (especially the coloring pigment, lawsone (2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone) from Lawsonia inermis, L may be served as potential cancer chemopreventive agents for prevention and/or treatment of human cancers.

References: 1. Azuine, MA. et al. (2004) Pharmacol. Res. 49: 161–169. 2. Kapadia, GJ. et al. (2003) Pharmacol. Res. 47: 141–148.