A semipolar fraction of petroleum ether extract of Artemisia aucheri induces apoptosis and enhances the apoptotic response to doxorubicin in human neuroblastoma SKNMC cell line

F Ahmadi, M Mojarrab, M Ghazi-Khansari, L Hosseinzadeh


Artemisia is an important genus of Iranian flora whose potent anti-proliferative effect has been demonstrated previously on human cancerous cell lines. In the current study, further fractionation was carried out on the petroleum ether extract of A. aucheri and their cytotoxic effects were evaluated on three human cancer cell lines. Cell viability was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to evaluate the expression of apoptotic related genes. Activation of caspases and detection of intracellular doxorubicin (DOX) accumulation were evaluated using a spectrophotometer. Mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) was measured using flow cytometry. The fraction NO-7 (F7) of petroleum ether extract showed the highest anti-proliferative effect, especially against SKNMC cells. Therefore, we focused on a description of the cytotoxic mechanism of the most potent fraction on SKNMC cells. The results indicated that F7 was able to induce apoptosis through MMP disruption, activation of caspases and increament of proapoptotic genes Bax and Smac/DIABLO. Moreover, our observation indicated that F7 is able to increase the cytotoxicity of DOX in SKNMC cells. The combination of F7+DOX significantly increased the intracellular accumulation of DOX. These results indicated that F7 induces apoptosis in SKNMC cells. Moreover, it might enhance the antitumor activity of DOX, through modulating the activity of multidrug resistant cancer cells and inducing apoptosis.

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