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Toxicol In Vitro. 2004 Dec;18(6):765-71.

Hot-compressed-water decomposed products from bamboo manifest a selective cytotoxicity against acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells.

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Kagoshima Prefecture Institute of Industrial Technology, 1445-1 Oda Hayato-cho, Aira, Kagoshima 899-5105, Japan.


We examined the effect of hot-compressed-water (HCW) extracted and fractionated bamboo products (named as fractions A and B) on the viability of human cultured cell lines, derived from leukemia patients and human peripheral blood lymphocytes, obtained from normal adults. Fraction A was composed of xylose, xylooligosaccharides and water-soluble lignin, determined by high-performance anion exchange chromatography and spectrophotometry. Fraction B was composed of glucose and celooligosaccharides. It was found that Fraction B expressed a negligible cytotoxic effect against leukemia cells, while Fraction A reduced markedly (in a dose-dependent manner) the viability of leukemia cell lines, derived from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)--Jurkat and MOLT-4. Fraction A did not influence the viability of leukemia cells, derived from myelogenous leukemia (ML-2) or lymphoma (SupT-1), as well as the viability of normal lymphocytes. Furthermore, microscopic examination of ALL-derived cells treated with Fraction A showed typical apoptotic morphological changes such as a condensation of nucleus and membrane blebing, as well as phosphatidylserine (PSer) exposure on the cell surface. The effect of decomposed products of commercially available xylan against ALL-derived Jurkat cells was significantly lower than that of Fraction A. These results suggest that the cytotoxic effect of Fraction A may be attributed to apoptosis, induced by xylooligosaccharides and it is specific for ALL-derived cells. We speculate that the water-soluble lignin is an important factor, potentiating the cytotoxic effect of xylan in HCW-extracts from bamboo.

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