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Pharmacogn Mag. 2010 Oct;6(24):309-14. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.71799.

Use of in vitro assays to assess the potential antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in human lung cancer cell line.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Saffron is harvested from the dried, dark red stigmas of Crocus sativus flowers. It is used as a spice for flavoring and coloring food as a perfume. It is often used for treating several diseases. We investigated the potential of the ethanolic extract of saffron to induce antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects in cultured carcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial cells in comparison with non-malignant (L929) cells.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Both cells were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium and treated with the ethanolic extract of saffron at various concentrations for two consecutive days. Our study resulted in sequences of events marked by apoptosis, such as loss of cell viability, morphology changes that were evaluated by MTT assay and invert-microscope, respectively.

RESULTS:

The results showed that the ethanolic extract of saffron decreased cell viability in malignant cells as a concentration and time-dependent manner. The IC (50) values against the lung cancer cell line were determined as 1500 and 565 μg/ml after 24 and 48 h, respectively. However, the extract at different concentrations could not significantly decrease the cell viability in L929 cells. Morphology of MCF7 cells treated with the ethanolic extract confirmed the MTT results.

CONCLUSION:

We also showed that even higher concentrations of saffron is safe for L929, but the extract exerts pro-apoptotic effects in a lung cancer-derived cell line and could be considered as a potential chemotherapeutic agent in lung cancer.

KEYWORDS:

Cytotoxicity, L929, MTT, lung cancer, saffron

PMID:
21120034
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2992145
Free PMC Article

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