Background: Oleanolic acid is an oleanane triterpene found in many plant species all
over the world. This compound is also a major saponin in leaves of Polyscias fruticosa and possesses
several promising pharmacological activities, such as hepatoprotective effects, and antiinflammatory,
antioxidant, or anticancer activities.
Objective: The objective of the present work is to establish cell suspension culture of P. fruticosa,
investigate the influence of several factors such as plant growth regulators and carbon source on cell
growth, and determine their oleanolic acid content.
Methods: Cell culture was established by using 2 g fresh weight of 30 day old friable callus derived
from in vitro stem segment in 50 mL of liquid medium with a shaking speed of 220 rpm. The culture
was then incubated at 25±2ºC with a shaking speed of 120 rpm in the period of 12 h daylight
at a light intensity of about 6.75 μmol/m2/s. Cell growth was measured by fresh and dry biomass at
16 h day. Oleanolic acid content was determined using HPLC analysis.
Results & Discussion: The study results showed that MS medium containing 2% sucrose as a carbon
source, supplemented with 1 mg/L 6-benzylaminopurine and 0.5 mg/L 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid
was the most appropriate growth medium. Cell biomass and oleanolic acid content reached the
highest values of 0.43 g dry weight/flask and 25.4 mg/g dry weight, respectively.
Conclusion: These results indicated the potential production of oleanolic acid, a compound with
high pharmacological value, from P. fruticosa cell culture.