In this study, we showed that crude extract of Anisomeles indica (AI-EtE) expressed its toxicity to HeLa cells with an IC50 dose of 38.8 µg/mL and to zebrafish embryos with malformations, lethality and hatching inhibition at 72-hpf at doses higher than 75 µg/mL. More interestingly, flow cytometry revealed that AI-EtE significantly promoted the number of cells entering apoptotic. Accordingly, the transcript levels of BAX, CASPASE-8, and CASPASE-3 in the cells treated with AI-EtE at IC50 dose were 1.55-, 1.62-, and 2.45-fold higher than those in the control cells, respectively. Moreover, treatment with AI-EtE caused cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase in a p53-independent manner. Particularly, percentages of AI-EtE-treated cells in G1, S, G2/M were, respectively 85%, 6.7% and 6.4%; while percentages of control cells in G1, S, G2/M were 64%, 15% and 19%, respectively. Consistent with cell cycle arrest, the expressions of CDKN1A and CDNK2A in AI-EtE-treated cells were up-regulated 1.9- and 1.64-fold, respectively. Significantly, treatment with AI-EtE also decreased anchorage-independent growth of HeLa cells. In conclusion, we suggest that Anisomeles indica can be considered as a medicinal plant with a possible use against cervical cancer cells; however, the used dose should be carefully monitored, especially when applying to pregnant women.
Keywords: Anisomeles indica; HeLa cell; apoptosis; cell cycle arrest; colony formation; gene expression; medicinal plant; zebrafish.