Induction of apoptosis by silymarin in human colon cancer cells

Zeinab Kamrani,1 Masoumeh heshmati,2,* Sadegh babashah,3

1. Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran medical Sciences, Islamic Azad university,Tehran ,Iran
2. Department of Molecular and Cellular Sciences, Faculty of Advanced Science & Technology ,Tehran med
3. Department of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran



Silymarin is a unique flavonoid complex isolated from milk thistle (silybum marianum) and has been widely used as anticancer agent against human carcinoma cell lines and therefore it is considered as potential inhibitors of cellular proliferation and induced apoptosis. in the present study, the cytotoxicity and apoptotic effect of silymarin was assessed on human colon cancer sw480 and hek cell lines.


Cell lines were purchased from the pasteur institute of iran and were plated in rpmi culture medium supplemented with fbs10%. cytotoxicity effect of silymarin was evaluated by mtt assays at various concentrations 6.25-250µg/ml and apoptotic effect was examined by annxexin v-fitc apoptosis detection kit (apoaf-50tst) at concentrations 50 100 and 250 µg/ml.


Loss of cell viability was time and dose dependent and ic50 was observed at concentration 190 , 91 ,45 μg/ml for 24,48,72h respectively and no cytotoxicity recorded at hek normal cell lines .the increased of apoptosis in sw480 cell lines was observed for 4.5 fold at concentrations 50 and 100 μg/ml and 4.8 fold at concentration 250 μg /ml compare to untreated cells at 48h in sw480 cell lines.


These finding indicated that silymarin have main role in suppressor sw480 colon cancer cell line by inducing apoptosis pathways therefore silymarin can be used for phytomedicin because of safe and plant-based characteristics


Colon cancer, silymarin, apoptosis colon cancer, silymarin, apoptosis