Original Articles

Antitumor action and toxicity of 6-methoxy-2-delta10’-cis-heptadecenyl-1,4-benzoquinone (irisquinone)

De-hua Li, Xiao-ge Hao, Shu-kun Zhang, Shi-xian Wang, Ruo-yong Liu, Ke-shao Ma, Su-ping Yu, Hui Jiang, Jing-fang Guan


Irisquinone is an antitumor principle from the seeds of Iris pallasii, Iridaceae. The seeds have been used for cancer therapy in folk remedies. The experiments showed that irisquinone injecteip was effective against U14 and lympohsarcoma of mice. It was effective against the lymphosarcoma by po administration. The hepatic and Ehrlich ascite cancer (EAC) were also inhibited (ip) significantly.
The anticancer effect of local irradiation against U14 tumor of mice was potentiated by irisquinone.
The direct cytocidal action against the cancer cell of EAC was observed, especially the nuclei of the cancer cells were damaged. Moreover, the mitosis rate of the cancer cells was inhibited too. Both were responsible for its anticancer effect.
LD50 of irisquinone in mice: 25.4+/-1.9 mg/kg (ip) and 2.8+/-0.3 g/kg (po). Chemotherapeutic index (LD50/ED50) =5 (ip) and 14 (po).
Subacute toxicities in both rats and dogs were low. No inhibition of bone marrow was seen.

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