This study was designed to investigate the antitumor activity of triptolide in ovarian cancer inoculated with SKOV3 and SKOV3/cisplatin (DDP) cells, and to assess the mechanisms. In-vivo and in-vitro experiments were designed to evaluate the effects of triptolide on the tumor growth of SKOV3 and SKOV3/DDP cells. The experiments were divided into four groups: a SKOV3 group, a SKOV3 + TP treatment group, a SKOV3/DDP group and a SKOV3/DDP + TP treatment group. The expression of Sorcin, vascular endothelial growth factor and matrix metalloproteinase-2 were detected by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Tumor cell apoptosis was detected by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling. In-vitro experiments showed that compared with SKOV3 control group, the level of colony-stimulating factor 1 and expression of Sorcin in SKOV3/DDP was significantly higher. Interestingly, triptolide treatment could reduce colony-stimulating factor 1 level and expression of Sorcin in both SKOV3 and SKOV3/DDP cell lines. In-vivo experiments showed that tissue necrosis area in SKOV3 + TP and SKOV3/DDP + TP was larger than SKOV3 and SKOV3/DDP group, respectively. Triptolide treatment induced apoptosis in both SKOV3 and SKOV3/DDP cells. Compared with SKOV3 group, the size of tumors was large, and the expression of MMP-2, Sorcin and vascular endothelial growth factor was higher in SKOV3/DDP group. Triptolide treatment reduced the size of tumors, and the expression of MMP-2, Sorcin and vascular endothelial growth factor in SKOV3/DDP as well as in SKOV3 tumors. In conclusion, triptolide has antitumor activity in both SKOV3 and SKOV3/DDP cells likely through inducing apoptosis and regulating MMP-2, Sorcin and vascular endothelial growth factor expression.