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Induction of Apoptosis by Methanolic Extract of Rubia Cordifolia Linn in HEp-2 Cell Line is Mediated by Reactive Oxygen Species

  • Shilpa, P.N. (Department of Biochemistry, University of Madras) ;
  • Sivaramakrishnan, V. (School of Chemical and Biotechnology, SASTRA University) ;
  • Devaraj, S. Niranjali (Department of Biochemistry, University of Madras)
  • Published : 2012.06.30

Abstract

Rubia cordifolia Linn, which belongs to the Rubiaceae family, is a well-known herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. In the present study, we investigated the influence of a methanolic extract (RC) on the induction of apoptosis in HEp-2 (human laryngeal carcinoma) cell line, as evidenced by cytotoxicity, morphological changes and modification in the levels of pro-oxidants. Inhibition of cell proliferation and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release increased in a time and dose-dependent manner. Further, reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione transferase (GST) and protein levels decreased and lipid peroxidation increased significantly on RC treatment in a dose dependent manner when compared to controls. Based on the results we determined the optimal dose as 30mg/ ml and the apoptotic effect of RC extract (30 mg/ml) on HEp-2 cells was confirmed by fluorescent microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) based on morphological and ultrastructural changes. RC extract suppressed the proliferation of HEp-2 oral cancer cells inducing apoptotic cell death in vitro. These results point to potential of RC extract as an agent for the treatment of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

Keywords

Antiproliferative activity;cancer cells;medicinal plant;in vitro studies

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