The Comparison of Anticancer Activity of Thymoquinone and Nanothymoquinone on Human Breast Adenocarcinoma

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Medical Sciences Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate of prod.,Departmaent of Genetics,IAU,Tehran medical branch

3 Department of Genetics, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Medical Sciences Branch, Tehran, Iran

4 Research and Development Department, Nanozino, Tehran, Iran.


Cancer is one of the main causes of mortality in the world which appears by the effect of enviromental physico-chemical mutagen and carcinogen agents. The identification of new cytotoxic drugs with low side effects on immune system has developed as important area in new studies of immunopharmacology. Thymoquinone (TQ), derived from the medicinal spice Nigella sativa (also called black cumin) exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. In this report we employed nanogel-based nanoparticle approach to improve upon its effectiveness. Myristic acid-chitosan (MA-chitosan) nanogels were prepared by the technique of self-assembly. Thymoquinone was loaded into the nanogels. The surface morphology of the prepared nanoparticles was determined using SEM and TEM. The other objective of this study was to examine the in vitro cytotoxic activity of cell death of Thymoquinone and nanothymoquinone on human breast adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF7). Cytotoxicity and viability of Thymoquinone and nanothymoquinone were assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and dye exclusion assay.
Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the particle diameter was between 150 to 200 nm. Proliferation of MCF7 cells was significantly inhibited by Thymoquinone and nanothymoquinone in a concentration-dependent manner in defined times. There were significant differences in IC50 Thymoquinone and nanothymoquinone. TQ-loaded nanoparticles proved more effective compared to TQ solution. The high drug-targeting potential and efficiency demonstrates the significant role of the anticancer properties of TQ-loaded nanoparticles.


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