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Cytotoxic and apoptogenic properties of Nigella sativa and thymoquinone, its constituent, in human renal cell carcinoma are comparable with cisplatin

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Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common renal malignancy in adults and exhibits highly intrinsic and acquired resistance to standard therapeutic strategies. We sought to determine the anti-cancer activity of hydroalcoholic extract of Nigella sativa seeds (NSE) and thymoquinone (TQ). Human renal cell carcinoma (ACHN) and fibroblast L929 cell lines were treated with NSE and TQ, and cytotoxicity was measured using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay. Cell death pattern was determined by annexin V and propidium iodine (PI)-staining methods. Exposure to NSE, TQ and cisplatin significantly inhibited the growth of ACHN cells and showed significant increase of early apoptotic cells. Normal cells were more resistant to NSE and TQ-induced effects. The present study demonstrates that N. sativa and TQ exert anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on ACHN cells in a concentration and time-dependent manner, which suggests their potential to be used as a new therapeutic strategy for renal cancers.
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Keywords: ACHN; Nigella sativa; apoptosis; cytotoxicity; renal cell carcinoma; thymoquinone

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Bu-Ali Research Institute, Immunology Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran 2: Pharmacological Research Center of Medicinal Plants, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran 3: Department of Animal Sciences, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran 4: Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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