Anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and apoptotic activities of MAT20, a poly-herbal formulation.

(1) The International School Bangalore, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India- 560102, (2) iCREST-International Stem Cell Services Limited, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India- 560027

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Cancer is a disease that can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Although these methods are very effective, they often result in micro-metastasis, drug resistance, and radio resistance. Disease relapse can be treated by escalating drug dosages, but this approach leads to drug resistance and drug toxicity. Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) is a treatment which involves the the simultaneous administration of herbal formulations and chemotherapy, where the herbal formulations could mitigate the negative effects of chemotherapy, resulting in better outcomes. In this study, the efficacy of our formulation MAT20, a crude extract of the moringa, amla, and tulsi leaves, was investigated in terms of its cytotoxic and inflammatory properties. We hypothesized that MAT20, would induce higher HeLa cell death compared to other extracts of individual plants. Significantly lower IC50 values were found in 48 hours of exposure compared to any other individual extracts of the plant part. Also, we investigated the effects of MAT20 on the expression of COX2, a marker for inflammation on HeLa cells. Finally, to understand the mechanism of action, we studied the upregulation of the BAX gene and downregulation of the BCL2 gene by MAT20. Our study demonstrated significant cell cytotoxicity and DNA fragmentation upon the exposure of HeLa cells to the drug, substantiating our hypothesis. Treatment with MAT20 suppressed PMA-mediated induction of the COX2 gene. Our data is important for understanding the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of MAT20.

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