Evaluation of Hydro-Alcoholic Extract of Trifolium Pratens L. for Its Anti-Cancer Potential on U87MG Cell Line

Cell J. 2018 Oct;20(3):412-421. doi: 10.22074/cellj.2018.5380. Epub 2018 May 15.


Objective: Glioblastoma multiforme is the most malignant form of brain tumors. Trifolium pratense L. has been suggested for cancer treatment in traditional medicine. Here we have investigated the effects of T. pratense extract on glioblastoma multiforme cell line (U87MG).

Materials and methods: In this experimental study, the effect of T. pratense extract on cell viability was investigated using trypan blue staining, MTT assay, and lactate dehydrogenase activity measurement. Apoptosis and autophagy cell death were detected by fluorescent staining. Nitric oxide (No) production was measured using Griess reaction. Expression levels of some apoptotic and autophagic-related genes were detected using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The combination effects of T. pratense extract and temozolomide (TMZ) were evaluated by calculating the combination index and dose reduction index values.

Results: After treatment with T. pratense extract, the cell viability was significantly reduced in a time- and dosedependent manner (P<0.05). Apoptosis and autophagy of U87MG cells were significantly increased (P<0.05). Also, T. pratense extract significantly decreased NO production (P<0.05) by U87MG cells. Combination of TMZ and T. pratense extract had a synergistic cytotoxic effect.

Conclusion: T. pratense showed anti-cancer properties via induction of apoptosis and autophagy cell death.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Autophagy; Glioblastoma Multiforme; Temozolomide.