Arctium lappa L. root extract induces cell death via mitochondrial-mediated caspase-dependent apoptosis in Jurkat human leukemic T cells.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019 Feb ;110:918-929. Epub 2018 Dec 17. PMID: 30572196
Ravini Ayoddhia Sirilal Gurunanselage Don
Arctium lappa L. is a perennial herb traditionally consumed to improve well-being. It has been widely reported for its antioxidant properties; however, very little is known for its exact mechanisms underlying the anticancer activity. This study aimed to investigate the mechanisms of anticancer action for different A. lappa root extracts. Arctium lappa root was extracted with ethanol, hexane and ethyl acetate, then examined for in vitro anticancer activity against cancerous HeLa, MCF-7, Jurkat cell lines and non-cancerous 3T3 cell lines. Induction of apoptosis was determined by cellular morphological changes, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨ), caspase-3/7 activity and DNA fragmentation. The active compounds present in the most potent root extracts were identified by LC-ESI-MS. Among all the extracts, ethyl acetate root extract has the highest potency with ICof 102.2 ± 42.4 μg/ml, followed by ethanolic root extract in Jurkat T cells, at 24 h. None of the extracts were cytotoxic against 3T3 cells, suggesting that the extracts were selective against cancerous cells only. Both ethyl acetate and ethanolic root extracts exhibited significant morphologicalchanges in Jurkat T cells, including the detachment from adjacent cells, appearance of apoptotic bodies and cells shrinkage. The extracts treated cells also displayed an increase in caspase-3/7 activity and alteration in mitochondrial membrane potential. Only ethyl acetate root extract at ICinduced DNA fragmentation in Jurkat T cells. LC-ESI-MS analysis of the extract revealed the presence of 8 compounds, of which only 6 compounds with various biological activities reported. These findings suggest that the ethyl acetate extract of A. lappa had strong anticancer potential and induced intrinsic apoptosis via loss ofΔΨand activation of caspase-3/7 This study can provide new insight to the discovery of new promising lead compound in chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic strategies.