PA seeds have various pharmacological properties, including anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer activities. It has been used for some dermatological diseases as acne vulgaris, and dandruff as traditional medicine. Its essential oils have been used in vitro acting as a powerful antiproliferative agent for cultured human epidermal keratinocytes, representing a noteworthy aid for psoriasis (Fratianni et al., 2018)
Recent cancer treatment agents are being obtained from plants including fruits, leaves and flowers as well as fungi. Current research is suggesting that plants and herbs do play a vital role in preventing and treating some diseases. These types of cures are known to public as herbal medicines and are being used for their powerful natural compounds. (Levitsky & Dembitsky, 2014)
These different therapeutic properties of PA led us to our research question weather PA have anti cancerous effect on OSCC. Our study included group I; representing the PA group and group II; acting as a negative control group of OSCC human tongue cell line.
Our results showed increased apoptosis in the OSCC cell line treated by PA in comparison to the negative OSCC control group. This was seen through caspase 3 and caspase 8 assays indicating activation of both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways of apoptosis. The cell cycle analysis performed in our study showed cell growth arrest at S phase for OSCC group treated with PA, permanently ceasing the cell growth and inducing apoptosis 7.8 folds more than the untreated OSCC cell line. Furthermore, necrosis increased in PA group 4-fold more than the untreated group. The mitochondrial membrane potential was decreased to 33.79% in PA group in comparison to 66.21% in the untreated group, inducing loss of cell viability which is highly targeted in cancer cells.
We found that PA had low cytotoxicity in comparison to Straurosporine with its least effect dose causing cytotoxicity to br 81ug/ml in comparison to Straurosporine a chemo therapeutic agent, which was found to have IC50 6.83ug/ml. IC50
Apoptosis is a unique form of cell death where a cascade of reactions occur leading to discarding unhealthy or unnecessary cells during development or cellular stress. The expression of some genes that inhibit apoptosis led to promoting cell survival. Hence recent cancer research is directed towards dysregulation of apoptosis being the beginning of carcinogenesis. Number of studies revealed the significant role that apoptosis play in tumorigeneses (Mahmoudi et al., 2019)
Minaiyan et al., performed a study on rats, where they induced ulcerative colitis and treated it with PA comparing it with prednisolone as the standard treatment. Their results showed improve effect in the PA group especially with those treated intraperitoneal than those treated orally. They credited this outcome to the increased bioavailability of the active component on injection (Minaiyan et al., 2014)
In accordance with our results, Mahmoudi et al in 2019, studied the effect of PA on expression of the Bax (Bcl-2-associated X) and c-FLIP (Cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein)genes which are highly expressed in human breast cancer. PA significantly decreased the Bax and c-FLIP genes expression. Consequently they suspected that PA could be related to anti-apoptotic genes inhibition in Human breast cancer. (Mahmoudi et al., 2019)
An animal study performed on rabbits contradicted our results and stated that the apricot seeds contents, amygdalin, might have a potential risk on animal health as it caused microscopic structure changes in their livers. Nevertheless, this study couldn’t verify the toxic effect in relation to the highest dose supplied (Kolesárová et al., 2020)
On the other hand, Cassiem & Kock in 2019 reported that there was an intra S-phase block in the cell cycle of human colon cancer cells in vitro after been treated with South African kernel extract. Amygdalin was found to low the ATP levels causing induction of Pycnosis or necrosis. They concluded that human cancer cells are considered to have different levels of certain enzymes that make them more susceptible to have arrested growth when exposed to amygdalin than normal cells. They suggested that these extracts may play an important role as chemo-preventive agents. (Cassiem & Kock in 2019)