The In Vitro and In Vivo Antiangiogenic Effects of Flavokawain B

Mariana C. Rossette, Débora C. Moraes, Erika K. Sacramento, Marco Aurélio Romano-Silva, Juliana L. Carvalho, Dawidson A. Gomes, Hanna Caldas, Eitan Friedman, Luciana Bastos-Rodrigues, Luiz De Marco*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Angiogenesis is implicated in the development of a variety of pathological processes, most commonly cancer. It is essential for tumor growth and metastasis, making it an important cancer therapeutic target. Naturally occurring substances have led to the discovery of anticancer agents. Flavokawain B (FKB), a chalcone isolated from the root extracts of kava-kava plant, inhibits proliferation and causes apoptosis in vitro and in vivo of various cancer cell lines. The antimetastatic potential of FKB has also been suggested. In our study, we confirm the antiangiogenic action of FKB in vitro and, for the first time, demonstrate its strong antiangiogenic activity in vivo, using a zebrafish model. Our data show that FKB inhibits human brain endothelial cell (HUVEC) migration and tube formation even at very low and non-toxic concentrations. Moreover, FKB blocks angiogenesis process in zebrafish, with a dramatic reduction of subintestinal vein formation in a dose-dependent manner. Flavokawain B at the concentration of 2.5 μg/mL did not exhibit any toxic effects in zebrafish larvae and caused a markedly or complete obliteration of subintestinal vein formation. Our findings along with previously published data confirm that FKB may form the basis for creating an additional tool in the treatment of cancer and other neovascularization-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1607-1613
Number of pages7
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


FundersFunder number
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico405053/2013-4
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas GeraisAPQ-00220-14


    • HUVEC
    • angiogenesis
    • flavokawain B
    • kava-kava
    • zebrafish


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