Antiproliferative activity and induction of apoptotic by ethanolic extract of Alpinia galanga rhizhome in human breast carcinoma cell line

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jun 17:14:192. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-192.


Background: We investigated the potential of galangal rhizomes to induce cytotoxic and apoptotic effects in the cultured human breast carcinoma cell line, (MCF-7) in compare with the non-malignant (MRC-5) cells.

Methods: Both cells were cultured in DMEM medium and treated with galangal rhizomes for three consecutive days. The percentage of apoptotic cells was determined by flow cytometry using Annexin-V fluorescein isothiocyanate.

Results: The results showed that the ethanolic extract of galangal rhizomes decreased cell viability in the malignant cells as a concentration- and time- dependent manner. The IC50 values against MCF-7 were determined at 400.0 ± 11.7 and 170.0 ± 5.9 μg/ml after 48 and 72 h respectively. The morphology of MCF-7 cells treated with the ethanolic extract confirmed the cell proliferation assay results. Alpinia galanga induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, as determined by flow cytometry.

Conclusions: We concluded that the extract of Alpinia galanga exerts pro-apoptotic effects in a breast cancer-derived cell line and could be considered as a potential chemotherapeutic agent in breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alpinia / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rhizome / chemistry


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Plant Extracts