Silibinin Triggers the Mitochondrial Pathway of Apoptosis in Human Oral Squamous Carcinoma Cells

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

Department of Pharmacology, Biomedical Research Unit and Laboratory Animal Research Centre, Saveetha Dental College, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Saveetha University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Abstract

Background: Silibinin, a natural polyphenolic flavonoid present in seed extracts of milk thistle (Silybum marianum). It has been shown to interact with various cancer-related cell signalling pathways in preclinical models, demonstrating promising anticancer effects in vitro and in vivo. Materials and Methods: The cytotoxic effect of silibinin was evaluated in human oral squamous carcinoma (SCC-25) cells by MTT assay. The apoptosis-related morphological changes were investigated by AO/EB dual staining. The cytochrome c, caspases-3, and -9, B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), and B-cell associated X protein (Bax) gene expressions were analysed by PCR. Results: We have shown that silibinin treatment for 24 h in SCC-25 cells induced cytotoxicity in a concentration-dependent manner. The cytotoxic potential was due to the induction of apoptosis via the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c into the cytosol and subsequent activation of caspases-3 and -9. Dual staining assay was further confirmed the induction of early apoptosis upon silibinin treatment. Conclusion: The results from this study show that silibinin can be considered as a promising drug candidate for the treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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