Potential anti-inflammatory effects of the hydrophilic fraction of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) seed oil on breast cancer cell lines

Molecules. 2014 Jun 24;19(6):8644-60. doi: 10.3390/molecules19068644.


In this work, we characterized conjugated linolenic acids (e.g., punicic acid) as the major components of the hydrophilic fraction (80% aqueous methanol extract) from pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) seed oil (PSO) and evaluated their anti-inflammatory potential on some human colon (HT29 and HCT116), liver (HepG2 and Huh7), breast (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) and prostate (DU145) cancer lines. Our results demonstrated that punicic acid and its congeners induce a significant decrease of cell viability for two breast cell lines with a related increase of the cell cycle G0/G1 phase respect to untreated cells. Moreover, the evaluation of a great panel of cytokines expressed by MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells showed that the levels of VEGF and nine pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-6, IL-12, IL-17, IP-10, MIP-1α, MIP-1β, MCP-1 and TNF-α) decreased in a dose dependent way with increasing amounts of the hydrophilic extracts of PSO, supporting the evidence of an anti-inflammatory effect. Taken together, the data herein suggest a potential synergistic cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant role of the polar compounds from PSO.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Drug Synergism
  • Female
  • G1 Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • HCT116 Cells
  • HT29 Cells
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Linolenic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Lythraceae / metabolism*
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / metabolism
  • Seeds / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Cytokines
  • Linolenic Acids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils
  • punicic acid