Aqueous extract from Pecan nut [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh) C. Koch] shell show activity against breast cancer cell line MCF-7 and Ehrlich ascites tumor in Balb-C mice.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2017 Aug 11. Epub 2017 Aug 11. PMID: 28807853
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: In Brazil, use of teas are common for the treatment of many health disorders. Shell extracts of pecan nut (Carya illinoinensis) are popularly taken as tea to prevent diverse pathologies due to their phytochemical composition presenting significant amounts of phenolic substances.
AIM OF THE STUDY: Phenolic compounds from pecan nut shell extract have been associated with diverse biological effects but the effect on tumor cells has not been reported yet. The aim of the current work was to evaluate the relationship between DNA fragmentation, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induced by pecan nut shell extract and its antitumor activity.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cytotoxicity, proliferation, cell death and cell cycle were evaluated in MCF-7 cells by MTT, colony, differential coloring and flow cytometry assays, respectively. DNA damage effects were evaluated through intercalation into CT-DNA and plasmid DNA cleavage.Tumor growth inhibition, survival time increase, apoptosis and cell cycle arrest were assessed in Ehrlich ascites tumor in Balb/C mice.
RESULTS: In this work citotoxic effect of pecan nut shell extracts, the induction of cell death by apoptosis and also the cell cycle arrest in MCF-7 cells have been showed. Also an increase in 67% on the survival time in mice with Ehrlich ascites tumor was observed. DNA damage was shown in the CT-DNA, plasmid DNA and comet assays. The mechanism involved in the antitumor effect of pecan nut shell extracts may involve the activation of key proteins involved in apoptosis cell death (Bcl-XL, Bax and p53) and on the cell cycle regulation (cyclin A, cyclin B and CDK2).
CONCLUSIONS: These results were attributed to the phenolic profile of the extract, which presented compounds such as gallic, 4-hydroxybenzoic, chlorogenic, vanillic, caffeic and ellagic acid, and catechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin and epicatechin gallate. The results indicated that pecan nut shell extracts are effective against tumor cells development and may be an alternative to the treatment of cancer.