Oregano and Prostate Cancer Cells

By Bhushankumar Patel, Vichiksha R. Shah and Supriya A. Bavadekar
Pharmaceutical Sciences, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY

Carvacrol, a monoterpene phenol, is known to be present in the volatile oils of Thymus vulgaris, Carum copticum and Origanum vulgare, and has been shown to have anti-proliferative effects on various human cancer cell lines, such as breast cancer, hepatoma, leukemia, non-small cell lung cancer, and cervical cancer. However, its effect on prostate cancer cells has not yet been determined. The objective of this research was to investigate the anti-proliferative effects of carvacrol on an androgen-sensitive, metastatic human prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP. In this study, cells were treated with increasing concentrations of carvacrol, ranging from 10–7M to 3×10–3M, and viability was determined after 48 and 96 hr using the XTT cell proliferation assay. Carvacrol inhibited cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, and the resultant IC50 values were found to be 135 ?M and 11 ?M, respectively. Data from phosphatidylserine externalization assays suggest that carvacrol causes induction of apoptosis* in these cells. This is the first study that has identified the anti-proliferative effects of carvacrol in prostate cancer cells, and results suggest that the compound may be valuable as a potential therapeutic agent for prostate cancer. This study is supported by the Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY.

The FASEB Journal. 2012;26:1037.5

*In case you are not familiar with the word “apoptosis” it means that it stimulates cell death.

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