Molecules and cells

Morus alba Accumulates Reactive Oxygen Species to Initiate Apoptosis via FOXO-Caspase 3-Dependent Pathway in Neuroblastoma Cells.

PMID 25921607


Morus alba root extract (MARE) has been used to treat hyperglycaemic conditions in oriental medicine. Here, we studied whether MARE possesses a cytotoxic effect on neuroblastoma. To check the cytotoxicity generated by MARE was whether relatively higher against the cancer cells rather than normal cells, we chose a neuroblastoma cell line (B103) and a normal cell line (Rat-2). A CCK assay revealed that MARE (10 μg/ml) reduced cell viability to approximately 60% compared to an untreated control in B103 cells. But in Rat-2 cells, MARE induced relatively lower cytotoxicity. To investigate the mechanisms underlying the cytotoxic effect of MARE, we used flow cytometry combined with immunoblot analyses. We found that MARE-treatment could accumulate ROS and depolarize mitochondria membrane potential of B103 cells. Further treatment with MARE in B103 cells also could damage DNA and induce apoptosis. An expression study of p-Akt also suggested that there was a reduction in cellular proliferation and transcription along with the process of apoptosis, which was further evidenced by an increase in Bax and cleaved-caspase 3 activity. Together, our findings suggest that MARE produces more cytotoxicity in cancer cells while having a relatively attenuated effect on normal cells. As such, MARE may be a safer option in cancer therapeutics, and it also shows potential for the patients with symptoms of hyperglycemia and cancer.