Planta Med 2010; 76 - P231
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1264529

Pro-apoptotic effects of lowbush blueberry proanthocyanidins in human colon carcinoma SW480 and SW620 cells

C Minker 1, C Muller 1, S Dumont 1, V Lamy 2, F Raul 2, A Lobstein 1
  • 1Faculty of Pharmacy – University of Strasbourg, 74, route du Rhin, 67401 Illkirch, France
  • 2Laboratory of Nutritional Cancer Prevention – IRCAD, 1, place de l'Hôpital, 67091 Strasbourg, France

Proanthocyanidins (Pcy) are oligomeric flavan-3-ols with strong anti-cancer properties described in different models [1]. We have previously demonstrated in vitro as well as in a rat model of colon carcinogenesis, the potential of apple Pcy in colorectal cancer chemoprevention [2–4].

We have performed by microcapillary cytometry a high content screening assay on the ability of Pcy-rich extracts to induce apoptosis in metastatic human colon cancer cell line (SW620). Here, we focused our interest on lowbush blueberry (LB) (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton, Ericaceae) and demonstrated that LB Pcy were more potent to induce apoptosis than apple Pcy, our internal standard, both on SW620 and SW480 cell lines (see table).

Table 1: Comparison of the pro-apoptotic activities of apple and LB Pcy-rich extracts

% apoptosis

Sample (75µg/ml)

SW480 cells

SW620 cells

% flavan-3-ols

Apple Pcy-rich extract




LB Pcy-rich extract




No synergy was observed between LB Pcy and TNF-α, and no effect of LB Pcy on surface death receptors expression in both cell lines was found. So, the hypothesis of a death receptor clustering was verified by immunocytochemistry.

In order to highlight the chemopreventive potential of LB Pcy in CCR, the intracellular mechanisms of action, as well as the in vivo efficacy of an LB standardized Pcy-extract, are being currently studied.

References: 1. Nandakumar V et al., Cancer Letters (2008); 269: 378–387.

2. Gossé F et al., Carcinogenesis (2005); 26(7): 1291–1295.

3. Seiler N et al., Anticancer Res. (2006); 26: 3381–3386.

4. Maldonado-Celis ME et al., Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2008); 65(9): 1425–1434.