Geraniol and simvastatin show a synergistic effect on a human hepatocarcinoma cell line.

Research paper by M P MP Polo, R R Crespo, M G MG de Bravo

Indexed on: 08 Jul '11Published on: 08 Jul '11Published in: Cell Biochemistry and Function


Simvastatin is a competitive inhibitor of 3-hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase activity, whereas geraniol is a monoterpene with multiple pharmacologic effects on mevalonate metabolism. Both of them inhibit growth and proliferation of many cell lines. The present study was designed to determine the action of geraniol, in combination with simvastatin, by assessing their effects in vitro on human hepatocarcinoma cell line (Hep G2). The treatment of Hep G2 cells with concentrations of simvastatin or geraniol that did not inhibit cell proliferation (5 µmol·l⁻¹ of simvastatin and 50 µmol·l⁻¹ of geraniol) resulted in a significant inhibition of cell proliferation. We also examined the effect of simvastatin, geraniol and the combination of both on the biosynthesis of lipids from [¹⁴C]-acetate. Our results demonstrate that the combination of simvastatin and geraniol synergistically inhibited cholesterol biosynthesis and proliferation of Hep G2 cell line, contributing to a better understanding of the action of a component of essential oils targeting a complex metabolic pathway, which would improve the use of drugs or their combination in the fight against cancer and/or cardiovascular diseases.