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J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jun 26;142(1):72-9.

In vitro anti-breast cancer activity of ethanolic extract of Wrightia tomentosa: role of pro-apoptotic effects of oleanolic acid and urosolic acid.

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1
Division of Endocrinology, CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute-CDRI, U.P., Lucknow 226001, India.

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:

Wrightia tomentosa Roem. & Schult. (Apocynaceae) is known in the traditional medicine for anti-cancer activity along with other broad indications like snake and scorpion bites, renal complications, menstrual disorders etc. However, the anti-cancer activity of this plant or its constituents has never been studied systematically in any cancer types so far.

AIM OF THE STUDY:

To evaluate the anti-cancer activities of the ethanolic extract of W. tomentosa and identified constituent active molecule(s) against breast cancer.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Powdered leaves of W. tomentosa were extracted with ethanol. The ethanolic extract, subsequent hexane fractions and fraction F-4 of W. tomentosa were tested for its anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in breast cancer cells MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231.

RESULTS:

The ethanolic extract, subsequent hexane fractions and fraction F-4 of W. tomentosa inhibited the proliferation of human breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. The fraction F-4 obtained from hexane fraction inhibited proliferation of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells in concentration and time dependent manner with IC₅₀ of 50 μg/ml and 30 μg/ml for 24 h, 28 μg/ml and 22 μg/ml for 48 h and 25 μg/ml and 20 μg/ml for 72 h respectively. The fraction F-4 induced G1 cell cycle arrest, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and subsequent apoptosis. Apoptosis is indicated in terms of increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, enhanced Annexin-V positivity, caspase 8 activation and DNA fragmentation. The active molecule isolated from fraction F-4, oleanolic acid and urosolic acid inhibited cell proliferation of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells at IC₅₀ value of 7.5 μM and 7.0 μM respectively, whereas there is devoid of significant cell inhibiting activity in non-cancer originated cells, HEK-293. In both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, oleanolic acid and urosolic acid induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis as indicated by significant increase in Annexin-V positive apoptotic cell counts.

CONCLUSION:

Our results suggest that W. tomentosa extracts has significant anti-cancer activity against breast cancer cells due to induction of apoptosis pathway. Olenolic and urosolic acid are important constituent molecules in the extract responsible for anti-cancer activity of W. tomentosa.

PMID:
22855944
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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