Combination of Nigella sativa with Glycyrrhiza glabra and Zingiber officinale augments their protective effects on doxorubicin-induced toxicity in h9c2 cells

Document Type : Original Article


1 Pharmacological Research Center of Medicinal Plants, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Pharmacological Research Center of Medicinal Plants, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Objective(s):The use of doxorubicin (DOX) is limited by its dose-dependent cardio toxicity in which reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) play an important role in the pathological process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the protective effect of three medicinal plants, Nigella sativa (N), Glycyrrhiza glabra (G) and Zingiber officinale (Z), and their combination (NGZ), against DOX-induced apoptosis and death in H9c2 cells.
Materials and Methods: The cells were incubated with different concentrations of each extract or NGZ for 4 hr which continued in the presence or absence of 5µM doxorubicin for 24 hr. Cell viability and the apoptotic rate were determined using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium (MTT) and propidium iodide (PI) staining assays, respectively. The level of ROS and lipid peroxidation were measured by fluorimetric methods.
Results: Treatment with doxorubicin increased ROS generation, enhanced malondialdehyde (MDA) formation, and induced apoptosis. Co-treatment of the cells with each herb extract increased viability of cells dose-dependently with a maximum protection effect of about 30%, and their potencies were N>G>Z. The combination of the threshold dose of each extract (NGZ) produced a similar effect, which was increased dose-dependently to a maximum protection of 70%. These effects were correlated with the effects of NGZ on ROS and MDA.
Conclusion: All of the extracts have some protective effects against DOX-induced toxicity in cardiomyocytes with similar efficacies, but with different potencies. However, NGZ produced much higher protective effect via reducing oxidative stress and inhibiting of apoptotic induction processes. Further investigations are needed to determine the effects of NGZ on DOX chemotherapy.  


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