Effects of alpha-hederin, a saponin extracted from Hedera helix, on cells cultured in vitro.


Danloy S, Quetin-Leclercq J, Coucke P, De Pauw-Gillet MC, Elias R, Balansard G, Angenot L, Bassleer R




Planta Med


In this work, we have analysed the effects of alpha-hederin, a monodesmosidic triterpenoid saponin isolated from Hedera helix, on mouse B16 melanoma cells and non-cancer mouse 3T3 fibroblasts cultured in vitro. Our results indicate that, in a serum-free medium, alpha-hederin is cytotoxic and inhibits proliferation in both cell lines at rather low concentrations (< 5 micrograms/ml) after only 8 hours of treatment. Its cytotoxicity decreases in the presence of serum in which BSA seems to be able to bind the saponin. alpha-Hederin also induces vacuolization of the cytoplasm and membrane alterations leading to cell death.