Primula auriculata Extracts Exert Cytotoxic and Apoptotic Effects against HT-29 Human Colon Adenocarcinoma Cells

Document Type: Research article


1 Department of Toxicology, School of pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine,Department of Pharmacology


Primula auriculata (Tootia) is one of the most important local medicinal plants in Hamedan district, Iran. To investigate cytotoxicity and apoptosis induction of crude methanolic extract and different fraction of it we compared several methods on HT-29 human colon Adenocarcinoma cells. Cancer cell proliferation was measured by 3-(4, 5‑dimethylthiazolyl)-2, 5‑diphenyl‑tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and apoptosis induction was analyzed by fluorescence microscopy (acridin orange/ethidium bromide, annexin V/propidium iodide staining, TUNEL assay and Caspase-3 activity assay). Crude methanolic extract (CM) inhibited the growth of malignant cells in a dose-dependent manner. Among solvent fractions, the dichloromethane fraction (CF) was found to be the most toxic compared to other fractions. With double staining methods, high percentage of 40 μg/mL of (CM) and (CF) treated cells exhibited typical characteristics of apoptotic cells. Apoptosis induction was also revealed by Apoptotic fragmentation of nuclear DNA and activation of caspas-3 in treated cells. These findings indicate that crude methanolic extract and dichloromethan fraction of P.auriculata induced apoptosis and inhibited proliferation in colon cancer cells and could be used as a source for new lead structures in drug design to combat colon cancer.


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