Document Type : Research Articles
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Objective: Clerodendrum infortunatum L. has long been used in traditional medicine in Sri Lanka for tumours, cancer, and certain skin diseases. The present study aimed to assess the anticancer properties of the aqueous extract of C. infortunatum L. root (AECIR) through the activation of the apoptotic pathway on hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) and thus give it a scientific validation. Further, the contribution of polyphenols in antioxidant activity and cell cytotoxicity was investigated. Methods: Powdered plant material was boiled with water (100°C) to obtained AECIR. The DPPH assay was used to determine the antioxidant potential. The activity of AECIR on HepG2 and normal rat fibroblast (CC1) cell growth was determined using MTT assay. The morphological changes related to apoptotic pathway was examined by Ethidium Bromide/Acridine Orange (EB/AO), Rhodamine 123 (Rh123) and DNA fragmentation assay. Results: The AECIR demonstrated antioxidant potential with an EC50 of 350.2 ± 1.5 ug/mL for DPPH assay. The HO•, H2O2 and •NO free radical scavenging activity was observed with EC50 of 19.7 ± 2.3, 11.7 ± 0.1 and 273.1 ± 0.9 ug/mL, respectively. The antiproliferative effect of AECIR on HepG2 cells was observed in a time and dose dependent manner with an EC50 of 239.1 ± 1.3 μg/mL while CC1 cells showed a nontoxic effect with an EC50 1062.7 ± 3.4 μg/mL after 24hrs treatment. A significant decrease in antioxidant activity (p<0.001) and 90% HepG2 cell viability was observed with polyphenol removed AECIR compared to the polyphenol present AECIR. The EB/AO uptake, depletion of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, and DNA fragmentation assay results revealed that the apoptosis was induced by AECIR. Conclusion: The obtained result of the present study demonstrates that the antioxidant potential and antiproliferative activity of AECIR is attributed to the presence of polyphenols. Furthermore, the findings provide the scientific base for anti-cancer potential of AECIR.