Effect of Withania somnifera root extract on spontaneous estrogen receptor-negative mammary cancer in MMTV/Neu mice

Anticancer Res. 2014 Nov;34(11):6327-32.


The cancer-preventive activity of an extract of Withania somnifera (WS) roots was examined in female transgenic (MMTV/Neu) mice that received a diet containing the extract (750 mg/kg of diet) for 10 months. Mice in the treated group (n=35) had an average of 1.66 mammary carcinomas, and mice in the control group (n=33) had 2.48, showing a reduction of 33%. The average weights of the carcinomas were 2.36 g for mice in the treated group and 2.63 g for the controls, a difference of 10%. Labeling indices for Ki67 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen marker in mammary carcinomas of the treated group were 35% and 30% lower, respectively, than those of the corresponding control group. Expression of the chemokine was reduced by 50%. These results indicate that the root extract reduced the number of mammary carcinomas that developed and reduced the rate of cell division in the carcinomas.

Keywords: Withania; chemoprevention; mammary cancer; mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Female
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Mammary Tumor Virus, Mouse / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Withania / chemistry*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Erbb2 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, ErbB-2