In vitro effects of Sutherlandia frutescens water extracts on cell numbers, morphology, cell cycle progression and cell death in a tumorigenic and a non-tumorigenic epithelial breast cell line. J Ethnopharmacol

Department of Physiology, PO Box 2034, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa.
Journal of ethnopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3). 08/2009; 124(1):45-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.04.013
Source: PubMed


Sutherlandia frutescens is a South African herb traditionally used for internal cancers, diabetes, a variety of inflammatory conditions and recently to improve the overall health in cancer and HIV/AIDS patients. The in vitro effects of S. frutescens extracts were evaluated on cell numbers, morphology, cell cycle progression and cell death. Dose-dependent studies (2-10 mg/ml) revealed a decrease in malignant cell numbers when compared to their controls. S. frutescens extracts (10 mg/ml) decreased cell growth in a statistically significantly manner to 26% and 49% (P<0.001) in human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7) and human non-tumorigenic epithelial mammary gland cells (MCF-12A) respectively after 72 h of exposure. Cell density was significantly compromised and hypercondensed chromatin, cytoplasmic shrinking, membrane blebbing and apoptotic bodies were more pronounced in the MCF-7 cell line. Both S. frutescens-treated cell lines exhibited and increased tendency for acridine orange staining, suggesting increased lysosomal and/or autophagy activity. Flow cytometry showed an increase in the sub G(1) apoptotic fraction and an S phase arrest in both the 5 mg/ml and 10 mg/ml S. frutescens-treated cells. S. frutescens induced an increase in apoptosis in both cell lines as detected by Annexin V and propidium iodide flow cytometric measurement. At 10 mg/ml, late stages of apoptosis were more prominent in MCF-7 S. frutescens-treated cells when compared to the MCF-12A cells. Transmission electron microscopy revealed hallmarks of increased vacuolarization and hypercondensed chromatin, suggesting autophagic and apoptotic processes. The preliminary study demonstrates that S. frutescens water extracts exert a differential action mechanism in non-tumorigenic MCF-12A cells when compared to tumorigenic MCF-7 cells, warranting future studies on this multi-purpose medicinal plant in southern Africa.

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Available from: S. Maas, Jan 09, 2016
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    • "New chemotherapeutics derived from natural sources or through synthesis must be able to kill cancerous cells with the least amount of damage to neighboring healthy cells and tissues. The assessment of new drug leads in vitro, uses labelbased biochemical assays which assess the viability or death of cells by measuring different enzyme activities, biomarkers and cell morphologies during and after treatments (Le Roux et al., 2011; Stander et al., 2009). "
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    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of ethnopharmacology
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    • "After extraction, the supernatant was transferred to a 50 ml tube and centrifuged at 2500 rpm for 10 min to remove any debris. The supernatant was filtered thrice with a 0.22 μm filter to obtain a purified 0.01 g/ml stock solution (Stander et al., 2009; Vorster et al., 2012). "
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