Effects of garlic oil on pancreatic cancer cells

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(10):5905-10. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.10.5905.


Background: To investigate the preventive and therapeutic potential of garlic oil on human pancreatic carcinoma cells.

Methods: The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was performed to study the effects of garlic oil on three human pancreatic cancer cell lines, AsPC-1, Mia PaCa-2 and PANC-1. Cell cycle progression and apoptosis were detected by flow cytometry (FCM), staining with PI and annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)/propidium iodide (PI), respectively. Morphologic changes of pancreatic cancer cells were observed under transmission electron microscopy (TEM) after treatment with garlic oil at low inhibitory concentrations (2.5 μM and 10 μM) for 24 hours.

Results: Proliferation of the AsPC-1, PANC-1, and Mia PaCa-2 cells was obviously inhibited in the first 24 hours with the MTT assay. The inhibition effect was more significant after 48 hours. When cells were exposed to garlic oil at higher concentrations, an early change of the apoptotic tendency was detected by FCM and TEM.

Conclusion: Garlic oil could inhibit the proliferation of AsPC-1, PANC-1, and Mia PaCa-2 cells in this study. Moreover, due to programmed cell death, cell cycle arrest, or both, pro-apoptosis effects on AsPC-1 cells were induced by garlic oil in a dose and time dependent manner in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Garlic / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Plant Oils