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J BUON. 2013 Jan-Mar;18(1):77-85.

Antitumor effects of Origanum acutidens extracts on human breast cancer.

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Department of Pathology, Comhuriyet University Faculty of Medicine, Sivas, Turkey.



There has been a long-standing interest in the identification of medicinal plants and derived natural products for developing anticancer agents. This work aimed at investigating the antiprolipherative properties of Origanum acutidens (OA) on breast cancer.


OA water extracts were studied for cytotoxicity against the breast cancer cell lines MCF-7, MDA-MB-468 and MDA-MB-231. In vitro apoptosis studies of these cancer cell lines were performed by annexin V staining in flow cytometry analyses. Immunohistochemistry studies for Ki-67 and caspase-7 of tumor tissue sections of dimethylbenzanthracene (DMBA) -induced mammary cancer in rats were also performed. TUNEL assay was used to detect apoptotic cells of tumor tissue. In vivo anticancer activity testing was carried out by inhibiting the growth of DMBA-induced mammary cancer in rats.


OA showed cytotoxicity on all 3 cancer cell lines. Annexin-positive cells level in OA-treated cell lines were significantly higher compared with untreated control cells (p=0.002). The expressions of caspase-7 protein and TUNEL-positive cells were much higher for the rats treated by OA, compared with the untreated control group (p<0.05). The expressions of the Ki-67 decreased in the treated groups compared with the control group (p<0.05). In vivo studies showed that the mean tumor volume inhibition ratio in OA-treated group was 41 % compared with the untreated rats (p<0.05).


These results indicate that OA has antitumor activity against breast cancer cell lines.

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