Citral can be used to induce cell death (apoptosis) in drug-resistant breast cancer cells

Research reveals that citral can be used to induce apoptosis on drug-resistant cancer cells in a spheroid model. This study, which was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, looked into the potential of citral to specifically target its cytotoxic activity against drug-resistant breast cancer cells.

There have been many advancements in breast cancer therapies throughout the years. Unfortunately, tumor recurrence and metastasis can lead to the formation of drug-resistant cancer cells. Previous studies have shown that citral exhibits cytotoxic activity against different cancer cell lines. However, no studies have been done to test its activity against drug-resistant breast cancer cells.

  • In vitro cytotoxic activity of citral on MDA-MB-231 cells was determined using an MTT assay.
  • Spheroid models of MDA-MB-231 cells were developed. Different concentrations of citral were also used to treat these spheroids.
  • Drug resistance phenotype of MDA-MB-231 spheroids was determined, with doxorubicin, cisplatin, and tamoxifen as positive controls.
  • Annexin V/ 7 AAD flowcytometry was done to study the effect of citral on apoptosis.
  • An aldefluor assay was conducted to determine if citral could inhibit an aldehyde dehydrogenase positive population.
  • Quantitative real time-PCR and western blot were performed to determine the potential mechanism for citral effect.

Results of these experiments show that citral can inhibit the growth and self-renewal of MDA-MB-231 spheroids by downregulating the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. Aside from this, they also observed that citral’s ability to induce apoptosis follows a dose-dependent manner.

Read the full text of this study at this link.

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Journal reference

Nigjeh SE, Yeap SK, Nordin N, Kamalideghan B, Ky H, Rosli R. CITRAL INDUCED APOPTOSIS IN MDA-MB-231 SPHEROID CELLS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 13 February 2018; 18(56). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2115-y

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