Objectives: To find the efficacy of serial extracts of Anisomeles malabarica in inhibiting proliferation of and inducing apoptosis in human cervical cancer cells, SiHa and ME 180, that are HPV 16-positive.
Materials and methods: The whole plant was extracted in n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, methanol, and water. The cells were treated with the extracts at increasing concentrations to find the IC(50), adopting MTT ([3-(4,5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide]) assay. Acridine orange (AO) and ethidium bromide (EB) and Hoechst 33258 staining were adopted to assess the mode of cell death, Annexin V-Cy3 staining to evaluate one of the early apoptotic features, JC-1 staining to assess the mitochondrial membrane depolarization, comet assay for DNA fragmentation, and cell cycle analysis for the distribution of cells after treatment.
Results: n-Hexane and chloroform extracts were cytotoxic to the cervical cancer cells in dose- and duration-dependent manner. The cells that responded to the treatments revealed typical apoptotic features. Early features of apoptosis, phosphatidyl serine translocation and loss of mitochondrial trans-membrane potential, were observed in the treated cells, and comet assay revealed DNA damage. In the FACS analysis, the cells accumulated in the sub-G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle, except in n-hexane- and chloroform extract-treated SiHa cells at 24 h, which showed arrest in S- and G2/M phases.
Conclusions: n-Hexane and chloroform extracts of A. malabarica inhibit proliferation of and induce death in HPV16-positive cervical cancer cells, mostly by apoptosis and to some extent by necrosis.
Keywords: Anti-cancer; apoptosis; cell cycle arrest; cervical cancer.