1College of pharmacy, pharmacology and toxicology department, Kind Saud University, Riyadh, kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
2professor of cancer biology NCI cairo university, Associated professor in pharmacology and toxicology department KSU
Objective: Breast cancer is global female health problem worldwide. Most of the currently used agents for breast cancer treatment have toxic side-effects. Ginseng root, an oriental medicine, has many health benefits and may exhibit direct anti-cancer properties. This study was performed to assess the effects of ginseng on breast cancer cell lines. Materials and Methods: Cytotoxicity of ginseng extract was measured by MTT assay after exposure of MDA-MB-231, MCF-10A and MCF-7 breast cancer cells to concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2 and 2.5 mg/well. Expression levels of p21WAF, p16INK4A, Bcl-2, Bax and P53 genes were analyzed by quantitative real time PCR. Results: The treatment resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation in a dose-and time-dependent manner. p53, p21WAF1and p16INK4A expression levels were up-regulated in ginseng treated MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cancer cells compared to untreated controls and in MCF-10A cells. The expression levels of Bcl2 in the MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells were down-regulated. In contrast, that of Bax was significantly up-regulated. Conclusion: The results of this study revealed that ginseng may inhibit breast cancer cell growth by activation of the apoptotic pathway.