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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Dec;52(12):1399-407. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200700513.

Procyanidin effects on oesophageal adenocarcinoma cells strongly depend on flavan-3-ol degree of polymerization.

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Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich, UK.


Epidemiological studies have shown that the risk of developing oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OA) is inversely correlated to consumption of fruits and vegetables. Flavan-3-ols are the most abundant subclass of flavonoids in these types of foods. Three apple-derived procyanidin fractions with different average degrees of polymerization (aDP) were characterized and the effects of these fractions and of pure flavan-3-ol monomers ((-)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin) and dimers (B1, B2) on two OA cell lines were investigated. Flavan-3-ol monomers and dimers had no effect on the two cell lines, while apple-derived flavan-3-ol oligomers and polymers induced a time-dependent reduction of cell viability. The reduction in the cell viability was due to the induction of caspase-mediated apoptosis and an arrest of the cell cycle in G0/G1. The magnitude of the reduction in cell viability and induction of apoptosis after exposure to flavan-3-ol oligomeric/polymeric fractions positively correlated with their aDP. These results indicate that only flavan-3-ol oligomers and polymers, but not monomers and dimers, have an effect on the proliferation of OA cells in vitro. As tested flavan-3-ol concentrations are achievable through diet, this study suggests that apple-derived PA may possess chemotherapeutic effects against OA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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