A study to determine the anti-cancer and pro-apoptotic properties of Amaranthus spinosus Linn. Extract, AS20
(1) The International School Bangalore, NAFL Valley, Whitefield – Sarjapur Road, Bangalore, KA, India, 562125, (2) iCREST-International Stem Cell Services Limited, 9/1, Mission Road, Bangalore
Complementary approaches to cancer treatment seek methods that integrate into existing therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The most common form of complementary medicine is the usage of external antioxidants, including Ayurvedic herbal extracts, which assist in the mitigation of the side effects of cancer treatment on healthy cells. Herbal extracts are usually evaluated only for their antioxidant properties for complementary use in cancer treatment. Ayurvedic products are rarely evaluated for their anti-cancer properties. In this paper, we hypothesized that AS20, a crude extract of the whole Amaranthus spinosus (AS) plant, would induce higher cell death to the HeLa cancer cell line compared to other extracts of individual parts of the plant. Significantly lower IC50 values were found for both 24 hours (11.56 µg/ml) and 48 hours (1.77 µg/ml) exposure compared to any of the other individual extracts of the plant part for the given exposure duration. Also, apoptosis was observed in HeLa cells treated by the IC50 concentration of AS20 using fluorescent stains such as Hoechst dye, DAPI and dual staining (Acridine Orange and Propidium Iodide). It is thus concluded that AS20 formulation exhibited cytotoxic activity on HeLa cancer cell lines and their action mechanism is via apoptosis.