African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2258

Full Length Research Paper

Phloretin induced apoptosis of human hepatoma cells SMMC-7721 and its correlative biological mechanisms

Hui Wang1,2#, Dianjun Wang3#, Yabin Pu1, Dengkui Pan4,Weijun Guan1* and Yuehui Ma1*
1Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China. 2College of Wildlife Resources, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China. 3Department of Pathology, People’s Liberation Army General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China. 4College of Science and Art, Shanxi Agricultural University, Shanxi 030801, China. #These authors contributed equally to this article.
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 February 2012
  •  Published: 08 March 2012


In order to investigate the proliferative and apoptotic effects of phloretin on human hepatoma cell line SMMC-7721 and to explore the mechanisms of phloretin induced apoptosis, this research is set to observed morphological alterations with phase contrast and confocal microscopy, performed MTT assay, and detected apoptotic rates, cell cycle progression, mitochondrial trans-membrane potential and intracellular calcium homeostasis. The results suggested that typical apoptotic morphological alterations occurred after phloretin treatment. Phloretin exerts a strong inhibitory on the proliferation of SMMC-7721 cell line, and induces its apoptosis in a dosage and duration dependent manner. Cell cycle was arrested at G1 phase. Mitochondrial trans-membrane potential dropped. Calcium homeostasis was disturbed. It is concluded that phloretin can induce apoptosis of SMMC-7721 via arresting cell cycle progression, reducing mitochondrial trans-membrane potential and disturbing intracellular calcium homeostasis.


Key words: Apoptosis, phloretin, human hepatoma cells, SMMC-7721 cells.