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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2018, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (3): 147-152.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.03.001

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Casticin from Vitex species: A short review on its anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties

Eric Wei Chiang Chan a, Siu Kuin Wong b, Hung Tuck Chan c   

  1. a Faculty of Applied Sciences, UCSI University, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia
    b School of Science, Monash University, Petaling Jaya, Selangor 46150, Malaysia
    c Secretariat of International Society for Mangrove Ecosystems, Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0129, Japan

  • Received:2017-11-29 Accepted:2018-01-18 Online:2018-05-10 Published:2018-03-06
  • Contact: Eric Wei Chiang Chan; E-mail:

This short review provides an update of the anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties of casticin from Vitex species. Casticin is a polymethylflavone with three rings, an orthocatechol moiety, a double bond, two hydroxyl groups and four methoxyl groups. Casticin has been isolated from various tissues of plants in the Vitex genus: fruits and leaves of V. trifolia, aerial parts and seeds of V. agnus-castus and leaves of V. negundo. Studies have reported the antiproliferative and apoptotic activities of casticin from Vitex species. The compound is effective against many cancer cell lines via different molecular mechanisms. Studies have also affirmed the anti-inflammatory properties of casticin, with several molecular mechanisms identified. Other pharmacological properties include anti-asthmatic, tracheospasmolytic, analgesic, antihyperprolactinemia, immunomodulatory, opioidergic, oestrogenic, anti-angiogenic, antiglioma, lung injury protection, rheumatoid arthritis amelioration and liver fibrosis attenuation activities. Clinical trials and commercial use of the casticin-rich fruit extract of V. agnus-castus among women with premenstrual syndrome were briefly discussed.

Key words: Vitexicarpin, Polymethylflavone, Apoptosis, Molecular mechanisms

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