OBJECTIVE : Recurrence of ovarian cancer is mainly due to multidrug resistance (MDR). 3-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) could reverse the multidrug resistance in human ileocecal adenocarcinoma cells, but whether AKBA could modulate acquired MDR in ovarian cancer needs to be elucidated. METHODS : The current study examined the effect of AKBA on ovarian cancer MDR using a Taxol resistant human ovarian cancer cell line A2780/Taxol. Cell proliferation, migration and invasion, the intracellular accumulation of Rhodamine 123 and expression of MDR proteins were studiedin vitro. Furthermore, the effect of AKBA on oncogenicity of A2780/Taxol cells in nude mice xenograft model was studied. RESULTS : The results showed that apart from its cytostatic and apoptosis-induction effect, AKBA could restrain A2780/Taxol cell migration and invasion. In addition, AKBA improved the sensitivity of A2780/Taxol cells to Taxol apparently, and the reversal of MDR by AKBA was evident by increasing intracellular Rhodamine 123 in cells. Furthermore, the anti-cancer potential of AKBA was evidenced as that AKBA treatment significantly slowed tumor growth and decreased the expression of P-gp, LRP, BCRP and MRP. CONCLUSIONS : Above results indicated that AKBA might be a potential compound to reverse MDR in human ovarian cancer.