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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014 Jan;14(11):6595-9.

Inhibition of leptin and leptin receptor gene expression by silibinin-curcumin combination.

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Department of Medical Biotechnology, Faculty of Advanced Medical Sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran E-mail :,


Leptin and its receptor are involved in breast carcinogenesis as mitogenic factors. Therefore, they could be considered as targets for breast cancer therapy. Expression of the leptin receptor gene could be modulated by leptin secretion. Silibinin and curcumin are herbal compounds with anti-cancer activity against breast cancer. The aim of this study was to assess their potential to inhibit of expression of the leptin gene and its receptor and leptin secretion. Cytotoxic effects of the two agents on combination on T47D breast cancer cells was investigated by MTT assay test after 24h treatment. With different concentrations the levels of leptin, leptin receptor genes expression were measured by reverse-transcription real-time PCR. Amount of secreted leptin in the culture medium was determined by ELISA. Data were statistically analyzed by one-way ANOVA test. The silibinin and curcumin combination inhibited growth of T47D cells in a dose dependent manner. There were also significant difference between control and treated cells in leptin expression and the quantity of secreted leptin with a relative decrease in leptin receptor expression. In conclusion, these herbal compounds inhibit the expression and secretion of leptin and it could probably be used as drug candidates for breast cancer therapy through leptin targeting in the future.

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