The anti-carcinogenic effect of Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea pallida on a mammalian breast cancer cell line
Echinacea is a medicinal plant that has been studied for its effectiveness in mice injected with cancer cells. The studies found that Echinacea purpurea increased the amount of natural killer cells in the experimental mice and suggested that E. purpurea could be a possible treatment for anti-tumor therapy in the future. This information is the basis for the current study. A standard in vitro anti-carcinogenic protocol was used to determine if crude extracts, water soluble extracts, and the standard components of Echinacea exemplify an anti-carcinogenic effect on BT-549. Three hundred thousand breast cancer cells were placed in each well of a six-well culture plate that contained two millimeters of RMPI-1640 media with 10% fetal bovine serum. The cells were then treated with a certain concentration of the control, dimethyl sulfoxide, or a certain concentration of an extract of Echinacea. The concentrations of the control, extracts and the standard components of Echinacea were the following: 70 μg/μl, 140 μg/μl, 210 μg/μl, 280 μg/μl, 350 μg/μl, 420 μg/μl, 490 μg/μl, 560 μg/μl, 630 μg/μl, 700 μg/μl, 1050 μg/μl, 1400 μg/μl, and 1750 μg/μl. The cells were then incubated in 95% oxygen and 0.5% carbon dioxide at 37°C for four days and then removed from the incubator. The viable cells were stained with trypan blue and counted. It was found that the growth of the cells that were treated with the extracts and the standard components of Echinacea decreased in comparison to the control. Another experiment was conducted to determine if Echinacea causes apoptosis or necrosis to occur in BT-549. It was found that E. purpurea root crude extract may cause apoptosis in BT-549. The crude and water soluble extracts as well as the standard components of Echinacea were tested also to determine if they had an effect on the ability of natural killer cells to lyse a target cell (K562). It was found that the extracts and the standard components inhibited the ability of the cells to lyse the target cell. The findings of these studies suggest that E. purpurea could possibly be used as an alternative treatment for breast cancer.
Steffani Nicole Driggins,
"The anti-carcinogenic effect of Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea pallida on a mammalian breast cancer cell line"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.