In vivo and In vitro effects of ethanolic extract of Trigonella foenum-graecum L. seeds on proliferation, angiogenesis and tube formation of endothelial cells

Mozhdeh Iranmanesh , Reza Mohebbati, Fatemeh Forouzanfar, Mostafa Karimi Roshan, Ahmad Ghorbani, Mohammad Jalili Nik, Mohammad Soukhtanloo


The role of angiogenesis in tumor progression and metastasis formation has been well recognized. Recent studies have reported that Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (fenugreek) seed extracts have potential anticancer properties. The current study was planned to investigate the anti-angiogenic activity of hydroalcoholic extract of fenugreek (HAEF) in vitro and in vivo. Effect ofHAEF (50-3000 µg/mL) and thalidomide                    (200-3000 µmol/L), as a positive control, on the viability of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and 3T3 fibroblast cells was assessed by thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Effect of HAEF on vessel-like tube formation by HUVECs was examined in the matrigel-based assay. Furthermore, the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) was used as in vivo model to study the anti-angiogenic effect of HAEF. HAEF, similar to thalidomide, significantly inhibited the viability of HUVECs and 3T3 cells dose-dependently after 24 h. Moreover, both HAEF and thalidomide significantly reduced tube formation by HUVECs in cell culture condition. In CAM model, HAEF and thalidomide caused a significant decline in the number of neovascular points and in the amount of grades 1 and 2 vessels. These findings revealed that fenugreek has cytotoxic and anti-angiogenic effects in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, this medicinal plant can be subjected to further investigations as antitumor agents. 


Angiogenesis; Cancer; Chorioallantoic membrane; Human umbilical vein endothelial cells; Thalidomide; Trigonella foenum-graecum.

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