Bracken-fern Extracts Induce Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Certain Cancer Cell Lines


Bracken fern [Pteridium aquilinem (L.) kuhn (Dennstaedtiaceae)] is one of the most common species on the planet. It has been consumed by humans and animals for centuries. Use by some human groups is because theybelieve bracken fern is good for health as plant medicine. However, it is also one of the few known plants that can cause tumors in farm animals. Many interested groups have focused their attention on bracken fern because of these interesting features. In order to evaluate the biological effects of exposure to this plant in cellular level, human cancer cell lines were treated with the fern dichloromethane extracts and the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects were studied. Anti-proliferative/cytotoxic effects were evaluated by cell count, MTT assay and flow cytometry methods with three different cancer cell lines, TCC, NTERA2, and MCF-7, and two normal cells, HDF1 and HFF3. Pro-apoptotic effects of the extracts were determined by DAPI staining and comet assay, on TCC cancercells compared to the normal control cell lines. Cellular morphology was examined by light microscopy. Our present study showed that the extract caused DNA damage and apoptosis at high concentrations (200 μg/mL)and also it may induce cell cycle arrest (G2/M phase) at mild concentrations (50 and 30 μg/mL) depending on the cell type and tumor origin. These results indicate that bracken fern extract is a potent source of anticancercompounds that could be utilized pharmaceutically.