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Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(1):100-8. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2010.516870.

A heat-stable extract from Mucuna stimulates the differentiation of bone marrow cells into dendritic cells and induces apoptosis in cancer cells.

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Department of Applied Life Sciences, Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences, Niigata, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(5):815. Ishii, Takao [corrected to Ishii, Ryuga].


Pine cone extract is known to induce differentiation of human mononuclear cells into dendritic cells (DCs) and also to induce apoptosis in human cancer cells. In the present study, we screened edible plants that contain components with biological activities similar to or more potent than those of pine cone extract. We found that Mucuna (Mucuna pruviens var. utilis) contains a DC differentiation/maturation-inducing activity and a component that induces apoptosis in human cancer cell lines. Mucuna extract specifically stimulated differentiation of BM cells to immature DCs. Marked production of IL-6 was observed by sequential treatment with at least 10 μg/mL of Mucuna extract followed by LPS. The sequential treatment with Mucuna extract followed by LPS produced a much higher ratio of IL-12 to IL-6 and a lower ratio of TNF-α to IL-6 than that obtained by sequential treatment with a medicinal mushroom Phellinus linteus extract and then LPS. The DC differentiation/maturation activity and the component inducing apoptosis in cancer cells were separable by column chromatography.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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