Effects of extracts from Bangladeshi medicinal plants on in vitro proliferation of human breast cancer cell lines and expression of estrogen receptor α gene
Affiliations: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
- Published online on: February 1, 2004 https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.24.2.419
- Pages: 419-423
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In this study we determined the activity of extracts from Bangladeshi medicinal plants (Emblica officinalis, Aegle marmelos, Vernonia anthelmintica, Oroxylum indicum, Argemone mexicana) on human breast tumor cell lines. Extracts from E. officinalis and O. indicum displayed anti-proliferative activity on MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines, while extracts from A. mexicana were active on MCF7 cells, exhibiting on the contrary low antiproliferative effects on MDA-MB-231 cells. Extracts from A. marmelos and V. anthelmintica were antiproliferative on both cell lines, but at higher concentrations. The accumulation of estrogen receptor α (ERα) mRNA, a marker of neoplastic status, was analysed by quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The data obtained demonstrated that only extracts from E. officinalis induce an increase of ERα mRNA in MCF7 cells. When MDA-MB-231 cell line was employed, extracts from E. officinalis, V. anthelmintica and A. mexicana were found to be inducers of the increase of ERα mRNA accumulation. Since activation of ERα gene expression could have clinical impact, our results suggest a possible use of extracts from medicinal plants to identify compounds of possible interest in the treatment of breast cancer.