Comparing Apoptosis and Necrosis Effects of Arctium Lappa Root Extract and Doxorubicin on MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 Cell Lines

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Anatomical Sciences Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Science, Kashan, Iran.

2 Faculty of Medicine, Shahed University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Research center for biochemistry and nutrition in metabolic disorders, Kashan University of Medical Science, Kashan, Iran.

4 Gametogenesis Research Center. Kashan University of Medical Science, Kashan, Iran.


Objective: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease and very common malignancy in women worldwide. The efficacy of chemotherapy as an important part of breast cancer treatment is limited due to its side effects. While pharmaceutical companies are looking for better chemicals, research on traditional medicines that generally have fewer side effects is quite interesting. In this study, apoptosis and necrosis effect of Arctium lappa and doxorubicin was compared in MCF7, and MDA-MB-231 cell lines. Materials and Methods: MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cells were cultured in RPMI 1640 containing 10% FBS and 100 U/ml penicillin/streptomycin. MTT assay and an annexin V/propidium iodide (AV/PI) kit were used respectively to compare the survival rate and apoptotic effects of different concentrations of doxorubicin and Arctium lappa root extract on MDA-MB-231 and MCF7 cells. Results: Arctium lappa root extract was able to reduce cell viability of the two cell lines in a dose and time dependent manner similar to doxorubicin. Flow cytometry results showed that similar to doxorubicin, Arctium Lappa root extract had a dose and time dependent apoptosis effect on both cell lines. 10μg/mL of Arctium lappa root extract and 5 μM of doxorubicin showed the highest anti-proliferative and apoptosis effect in MCF7 and MDA231 cells. Conclusion: The MCF7 (ER/PR-) and MDA-MB-231 (ER/PR+) cell lines represent two major breast cancer subtypes. The similar anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects of Arctium lappa root extract and doxorubicin (which is a conventional chemotherapy drug) on two different breast cancer cell lines strongly suggests its anticancer effects and further studies.


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