PEREZ, A.; PECIO, L.; KOWALCZYK, M.; KONTEK,M.; GAJEK, G.; STOPINSEK, L.; MIRT, I.; STOCHMAL, I.; OLESZEK, W.
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 109, Part 2, November 2017, Pages 863-870
For centuries wood containers have been used in aging of wines and spirits, due to the pleasant flavors they give to the beverages. Together with oak, sweet chestnut wood (Castanea sativa) have been often used for such purpose. The maturation process involves the transfer of secondary metabolites, mainly phenolics, from the wood to the liquid. At the same time, other metabolites, such as triterpenoids and their glycosides, can also be released. Searching for the extractable triterpenoids from sweet chestnut heartwood (C. sativa), two new ursane-type triterpenoid saponins named chestnoside A (1) and chestnoside B (2), together with two known oleanen-type analogs (3 and 4) were isolated and characterized. The cytotoxicity of isolated compounds was tested against two cancer cell lines (PC3 and MCF-7), and normal lymphocytes. Breast cancer cells (MCF-7) were more affected by tested compounds than prostate cancer cells (PC3). Chestnoside B (2) exhibited the strongest cytotoxicity with an IC50 of 12.3 μM against MCF-7 cells, lower than those of positive controls, while it was moderately active against normal lymphocytes (IC50 = 67.2 μM). These results highlight the occurrence of triterpenoid saponins in sweet chestnut heartwood and their potential for the chemoprevention of breast cancer.