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.
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