Cytotoxic effect of freeze-dried extract of Ecballium elaterium fruit on gastric adenocarcinoma (AGS) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (KYSE30) cell lines.

Research paper by Shahab S Bohlooli, Naser N Jafari, Shahram S Jahed

Indexed on: 15 Mar '12Published on: 15 Mar '12Published in: Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer


Ecballium elaterium (L.) A. Rich (Cucurbitaceae), also known as the "squirting cucumber," is a wild medicinal plant found abundantly in Moghan, Ardabil province, Iran. This study was undertaken to examine possible cytotoxic effect of freeze-dried aqueous extract of E. elaterium fruit on cell lines of gastric and esophageal origin namely called AGS (human gastric carcinoma) and KYSE30 (human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma).The aqueous extract of the fruits of E. elaterium was prepared and freeze-dried. AGS and KYSE30 cancer cell lines were treated by the extract and incubated for 24, 48, and 72 h. Cytotoxicity was examined by MTT assay. Ethidium bromide/acridine orange (EB/AO) staining was used for apoptotic cell detection. A DAPI staining method was used to analyze cell cycle by flow cytometry.The IC(50) values were 2.5, 0.7, and 0.7 μg/ml for AGS cell line after 24, 48, and 72 h, respectively. IC(50) values for KYSE30 cell line were 500, 150, and 125 μg/ml after 24, 48, and 72 h, respectively. The EB/AO staining showed an increase in apoptotic cells. Cell cycle analysis showed a significant increase in cell density at G2/M phase.The results of the current study showed that the freeze-dried aqueous extract of E. elaterium fruit has a cytotoxic effect on gastric and esophageal cancer cell lines by means of apoptosis. The gastric cancer cells (AGS) showed a remarkably higher sensitivity. It seems that several compounds are possibly responsible for the cytotoxic effect of the extract.