Scientific Names: Acacia catechu (L.) Willd

Common Names: Er Cha


中药材基原: 豆科植物儿茶Acacia catechu (L. f.) Willd. 的去皮枝、干。

药材特征: 为方形志状或不规则形,表面化黑色或红褐色,平滑而微有光泽,内部棕红色。气无、味涩、先苦后甜。







One of the goals of cancer chemotherapy and prevention is the discovery of compounds that are relatively selective to tumor cells and, therefore, have reduced effects on normal cell growth. In previously published studies, it was shown that certain triterpene saponins (called avicins) from a desert tree, Acacia victoriae, are selectively toxic to tumor cells at very low doses (IC(50): 0.2 microg/mL for Jurkat cells). To extend this research to human clinical studies, we needed to find a reliable supply of avicins and have developed a transformed "hairy root" culture as a means of biomass production. Protocols were optimized for A. victoriae micropropagation; after a boiling water treatment, A. victoriae seeds were maintained under in vitro conditions on defined media. Embryo-axis explants from shoot tips were removed and infected with Agrobacterium rhizogenes Conn (R 1000) for hairy root induction. Plasmid integration was confirmed by PCR analysis with a primer set for a segment of the rol B gene. Culture conditions have been optimized for root biomass production, and various inducers have been investigated for enhancement of avicin production. Hairy root cultures were compared with intact pod tissue from field-grown sources for avicin content following partial purification of triterpene glycosides and HPLC separation of the secondary metabolites. From bioassays of the collected HPLC fractions, we have identified putative triterpene "metabolic clusters" with enhanced activity against tumor cells. This now provides a system for both production of clinical trial lots of active samples, but also a means to correlate structure of individual triterpene glycosides with specific cellular target activity in mammalian cells. (source)

Semipurified saline extracts of seeds from Crotolaria juncea, Cassia marginata, Ficus racemosa, Cicer arietinum (L-532), Gossipium indicum (G-27), Melia composita, Acacia lenticularis, Meletia ovalifolia, Acacia catechu and Peltophorum ferrenginium were tested for leukoagglutinating activity against whole leukocytes and mononuclear cells from patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (34), acute myeloblastic leukaemia (5), acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (7), chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (3), various lymphoproliferative/haematologic disorders (54), and normal healthy subjects (50). In addition, bone marrow cells from three patients undergoing diagnostic bone marrow aspiration and activated lymphocytes from mixed lymphocyte cultures (MLC) were also tested. All the seed extracts agglutinated white blood cells from patients with different types of leukaemia. But none of them reacted with peripheral blood cells of normal individuals, patients with various lymphoproliferative/haematologic disorders or cells from MLC. Leukoagglutination of leukaemic cells with each of the seed extracts was inhibited by simple sugars. Only in one instance, cells from bone marrow of an individual who had undergone diagnostic bone marrow aspiration for a non-malignant condition were agglutinated. It is felt that purification of these seed extracts may yield leukaemia-specific lectins. (source)


  1. Joshi L, et al., Metabolomics of plant saponins: bioprospecting triterpene glycoside diversity with respect to mammalian cell targets. OMICS. 2002; 6(3):235-46.
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  3. Kaur K, et al., A correlative study on antimutagenic and chemopreventive activity of Acacia auriculiformis A. Cunn. and Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. Ex Del. Drug Chem Toxicol. 2002 Feb; 25(1):39-64.
  4. Hanausek M,et al., Avicins, a family of triterpenoid saponins from Acacia victoriae (Bentham), suppress H-ras mutations and aneuploidy in a murine skin carcinogenesis model. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Sep 25; 98(20):11551-6.
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  8. Sugawara K, et al., Density changes of cultured Burkitt lymphoma cells following EB viral synthesis. Nat New Biol. 1971 Sep 22; 233(38):106-7.
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