Cytotoxic Effects of Ethanolic Extract of Polypodium Vulgare on Human Malignant Melanoma Cell Line

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Faculty of Pharmacy, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran.

2 Research Institute for Persian and Complementary Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Persian Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

5 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Melanoma is a malignant tumor that originates from the skin’s melanocytes and has the highest death rate from skin cancer. Developing more efficacious anticancer medications with fewer adverse effects is the key to effective cancer management. Natural products are considered relevant and cost-effective sources of treatment. The plant (Polypodium vulgare) is a small and evergreen fern. One of the most important chemical compounds in the extract of this herb is flavonoids, which are thought to have beneficial effects in the treatment of melanoma through antioxidant properties. Objectives: Due to the limitations of current cancer management and cytotoxic drugs available in the country, the need to study drugs of natural origin has become more prominent. In this regard, the present study aims to investigate the cytotoxic effects of the ethanolic extract of Polypodium vulgare on A375 melanoma cells. Methods: Polypodium vulgare was extracted in 80% ethanol by the maceration. Then, its effects on the cell death of the melanoma cell line A375 compared to the AGO-1522 cell line as control were measured using the MTT-assay technique. The amount of cellular lipid peroxidation was estimated by TBARS assay. The amount of cellular ROS was calculated by fluorescent reagent 2,7-dichlorofluorescein diacetate. Cytochrome c concentration was measured by a cytochrome c immunoassay kit. Results: In this experiment, the anticancer effects of Polypodium vulgare ethanolic extract on human melanoma cell lines were investigated for the first time. Herb extract with a concentration of 0.123 mg/ml significantly increased the death of A375 melanoma cells (p < 0.001), lipid peroxidation (p < 0.01), and reactive oxygen species (ROS) (p < 0.01) and cytochrome c concentration (p < 0.001). Meanwhile, the same amount was ineffective and safe on AGO-1522 normal fibroblast cells. Conclusion: A 0.123 mg/ml concentration of Polypodium vulgare increases apoptosis in melanoma cells. Meanwhile, the same amount was safe on healthy cells. So, it could be considered an effective treatment without side effects in human melanoma.


Main Subjects

Volume 24, Issue 1
January 2023
Pages 275-281
  • Receive Date: 18 August 2022
  • Revise Date: 25 October 2022
  • Accept Date: 17 January 2023
  • First Publish Date: 17 January 2023