Cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of different extracts of Artemisia biennis Willd. on K562 and HL-60 cell lines

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Biotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran


Objective(s): Artemisia is a genus of herbs and small shrubs forms an important part of natural vegetation in Iran. It has been reported that several Artemisia species possess anti-proliferative effects. Considering the value of this genus in anti-cancer researches we have chosen Artemisia biennis for cytotoxic and mechanistic studies.
Materials and Methods:In this study we have investigated the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of petroleum ether, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, ethanol, and ethanol:water (1:1 v/v) extracts of A. biennis Willd. on two cancer human cell lines (K562 and HL-60) and J774 as normal cells.
Results: CH2Cl2 extract was found to have the highest anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells. IC50 values obtained in AlamarBlue® assay for CH2Cl2 extract were 64.86 and 54.31 µg/ml on K562 and HL-60 cells respectively. In flow cytometry histogram of the cells treated with CH2Cl2 extract, sub-G1 peak was induced. DNA fragmentation, increased in the level of Bax and cleavage of PARP protein all showed the induction of apoptosis with CH2Cl2 extract after 48 hr contact with cells.
Conclusion: The results can corroborate the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of the CH2Cl2 extract of A. biennis on the K562 and HL-60 cancer cell lines.


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