Ethanol extract of Ocimum sanctum exerts anti-metastatic activity through inactivation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and enhancement of anti-oxidant enzymes

Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jun;48(6):1478-82. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.03.014. Epub 2010 Mar 15.


Ocimum sanctum has been known to possess various beneficial properties including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. In the present study, we investigated that ethanol extracts of O. sanctum (EEOS) had anti-metastatic activity through activation of anti-oxidative enzymes. EEOS exerted cytotoxicity against Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells. Also, EEOS significantly inhibited cell adhesion and invasion as well as activities of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), but not MMP-2, indicating the important role of MMP-9 in anti-metastatic regulation of EEOS. In addition, EEOS significantly reduced the tumor nodule formation and lung weight in LLC-injected mice. Inhibitory effect of EEOS on metastasis was further confirmed by using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. Notably, we also found that EEOS enhanced activities of anti-oxidative enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in a concentration-dependent manner. Taken together, our findings support that EEOS can be a potent anti-metastatic candidate through inactivation of MMP-9 and enhancement of anti-oxidant enzymes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Lewis Lung / pathology
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Ethanol / chemistry*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / prevention & control*
  • Ocimum / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Ethanol
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase