Background: Herbal medicine has becoming a potential source of treatment for different types of cancer including breast cancer. It has been shown that plants from the family Rhamnaceae possess anticancer activity.
Objective: In this study, we determined the antiproliferative influence of Ziziphus spina christi- a species from this family- on the MCF-7 (human breast adenocarcinoma) cell line. Materials and
Methods: The cytotoxicity of the total extract, ethanol, ethanol-aqueous (1:1) as well as aqueous fractions of Ziziphus spina christi leaves was evaluated through MTT assay against MCF-7 cell line. Cell cycle inhibition and apoptosis induction were assessed by flowcytometry cycle RNase/PI analysis and Annexin V-FLUOS, respectively. Apoptosis was also analyzed by immunoblotting assay.
Results: Our results indicated that the ethanolic fraction had the lowest IC50 value (0.02 mg/ml), induced cell cycle arrest at the G1/S phase as well as apoptosis after a 48h of treatment.
Conclusions: This is the first report on anticancer effect of Ziziphus spina christi ethanolic fraction on breast cancer cells, providing a scientific basis for its utility in traditional medicine. However, further in-depth studies are needed to confirm the precise mechanisms.