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Cytotechnology. 2016 Aug;68(4):1207-13. doi: 10.1007/s10616-015-9880-y. Epub 2015 Apr 29.

The antioxidant and chemical properties of Berberis vulgaris and its cytotoxic effect on human breast carcinoma cells.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box: 9717853577, Birjand, Iran. reyhaneh.houshyar@gmail.com.
2
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box: 9717853577, Birjand, Iran.

Abstract

In this study we evaluated the biological activity of alcoholic and aqueous extracts from the fruit of Berberis vulgaris. The total antioxidant capacity of Berberis was characterized by FRAP, DPPH, Folin-Ciocalteu while the anthocyanins content was measured by pH differential method. Cell viability and apoptotic property were determined by MTT and DNA fragmentation assays, respectively. Alcoholic extract of Berberis was richer in antioxidants and anthocyanins compared to aqueous extract. Although both extracts significantly inhibited proliferation of breast cancer cells (MCF-7); these changes were not observed in normal human breast epithelial cells (MCF10-A). The alcoholic extract was more effective in inducing apoptosis as detected by DNA fragmentation in treated cancer cells. Our results suggest that Berberis has potent antioxidant properties and cytotoxic effects that can induce apoptosis. Therefore, Berberis can potentially be exploited for the development of therapeutics to fight against human breast cancer.

KEYWORDS:

Antioxidant; Apoptosis; Berberis vulgaris; Breast cancer; Cytotoxicity

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