Screening for in vitro Cytotoxic Activity of Seaweed, Sargassum sp. Against Hep-2 and MCF-7 Cancer Cell Lines

  • Mary, J. Stella (Post Graduate Department of Immunology and Microbiology, The American College) ;
  • Vinotha, P. (Post Graduate Department of Immunology and Microbiology, The American College) ;
  • Pradeep, Andrew M. (Post Graduate Department of Immunology and Microbiology, The American College)
  • Published : 2012.12.31


Discovery of anticancer drugs that kill or disable tumor cells in the presence of normal cells without undue toxicity is a potential challenge for therapeutic care. Several papers in the literature have emphasized the potential implications of marine products such as seaweeds which exhibit antitumor activity. Study attempts to screen the antitumor effect of Sargassum sp, against chosen cell lines such as MCF-7 (Breast cancer) and Hep-2 (Liver Cancer). Ethanol extract of Sargassum sp. was concentrated using a Soxhlet apparatus and dissolved in DMSO. In vitro cytotoxic activity of Sargassum sp at various concentrations ($100{\mu}g/ml-300{\mu}g/ml$) screened for antitumor effect against the chosen cell lines using MTT assay (3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, a yellow tetrazole). The study documented that the percentage of cell viability has been reduced with increased concentration, as evidenced by cell death. Sargassum sp extract shows potential cytotoxic activity ($P{\leq}0.05$) with $IC_{50}$ of $200{\mu}g/ml$ and $250{\mu}g/ml$ against Hep-2 and MCF-7 cell lines respectively. The ethanol fraction of Sargassum sp induced cell shrinkage, cell membrane blebbing and formation of apoptotic bodies with evidence of bioactive components as profound influencing factors for anti-tumor effects. Further research need to be explored for the successful application of Sargassum sp as a potent therapeutic tool against cancer.


MTT;Sargassum sp.;apoptosis;HEP 2;MCF 7


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