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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 291-295

Antiproliferative effect of saffron and its constituents on different cancerous cell lines

1 Department of Biotechnology, University of Jammu, Jammu, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, Government Medical College, Srinagar, India

Correspondence Address:
Syed Imran Bukhari
Plant Genomics Laboratory, School of Biotechnology, University of Jammu, Jammu - 180 006, Jammu and Kashmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pr.pr_124_17

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Background: Use of herbs as medicinal plants to treat various clinical ailments has grown for the last two decades. Cancer is one of the most dreadful disease and extracts of various medicinal herbs have been subjected for the analysis to elucidate their possible role in the prevention of proliferation of cancer cells. Crocus sativus is an autumnally flowering plant rich in active ingredients apocarotenoids such as crocin, picrocrocin, and safranal which have been reported to have antiproliferative potential due to their strong antioxidant potential. Objective: To elucidate the antiproliferative potential of C. sativus extract (CSE) and its major constituents crocin and safranal on four different malignant cell lines (Alveolar lung epithelial cancerous cell line [A549], breast epithelial cancerous cell line [T47D], colon colorectal cell line [HCT-116], and prostrate cancerous cell line [PC3]) and nonmalignant cell line (L929). Materials and Methods: High-performance liquid chromatography was used to measure the content of crocin and safranal in saffron extract and antiproliferative effects of CSE, crocin, and safranal were evaluated by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. All cells were incubated with different concentrations of CSE, crocin, and safranal for 48 h. In a concentration-dependent manner, both safranal and crocin reduced cell proliferation in all malignant cell lines. Results: The IC50 values ranged between 0.32 and 0.42 mM for safranal, 0.31 and 0.92 mM for crocin, and 0.58 and 0.98 mg/ml for saffron extract. Conclusion: Based on these findings, it can be concluded that saffron and its components can inhibit cell proliferation in cancerous cells. Consequently, these agents could potentially be used as a chemopreventive agent for cancer management in the near future. Abbreviations Used: CSE: Crocus sativus extract; A549: Alveolar lung epithelial cancerous cell line, HCT-116: Colon colorectal cell line, T47d cell line: Breast epithelial cancerous cell line, PC-3 cell line: Prostrate cancerous cell line; HPLC: High-performance liquid chromatography, MTT: 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide.

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