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Evaluation of In Vitro Cytotoxic Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Azadiracta indica Leaves as a Function of pH on Human Breast Cancer Cell Line MDA-MB 231

Author(s): Rumana Ahmad, Aparna Misra, Anchal Trivedi, Mohsin Ali Khan

Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the world and in US, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. Researchers have developed various strategies for combating and treating cancer viz. surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy as well as plant derived and plant based drugs. Phytotherapeutic agents have no serious side effects and they are better assimilated than their synthetic counterparts. Azadiracta indica (AI) commonly known as ‘Neem’ in India, has many therapeutic properties viz. anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, antipyretic, hypoglycemic, antiulcergenic, antifungal, antibacterial as well as antitumor. The antineoplastic property of AI is due to its apoptosis-inducing, antiangiogenic, and immunomodulatory effects via several molecular mechanisms. In the present study, individual as well as combined effect of ethanolic extract of AI and pH has been evaluated on survival and viability of human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. It was found that a combination of low pH (6.2) and AI extract (1600 μg/ml) caused significant mortality (95.7%) in the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. The IC50 value for AI extract at pH 7.1 was found to be 200 μg/ml. The combined cytotoxicity at acidic pH in presence of AI extract was compared to that caused only in presence of AI. It was found that low pH potentiates the cytotoxic effect of AI, although independently, low pH promotes cancer cell survival and viability. Such a study regarding anti-proliferative activity of AI as function of pH has not been reported before and warrants further and future investigation


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