Effect of curcumin on apoptosis and cell growth inhibition of human hepatocellular carcinoma wch-17 cell line

Fraidoon Kavoosi,1,*

1. Research center for non-communicable diseases, Jahrom University of medical sciences, Jahrom, Iran



Objective and aim: hepatocellular carcinoma (hcc) is the most common cancer of the liver and the 5th commonest malignancy. herbal medicines have an important role to prevent cancer. curcumin is the herbal and dietary spice turmeric with diverse pharmacologic effects including antiproliferative, antiangiogenic and anti-cancer properties. the aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of curcumin on cell growth and apoptosis in the hcc wch-17 cell line.


Materials and methods: the cells were seeded in 96-well plate at a density of 2 × 105 cells/well and treated with various concentrations of curcumin. after 24 and 48 h of treatment, mtt and flow cytometry assay were used to evaluate the proliferative and apoptotic effect of the agent.


Results: curcumin inhibited the cell growth and induced apoptosis significantly with a time- and dose-dependent manner (p<0.001). the growth of cells decreased to 80, 54, 42, 34 and 30% of the control level after 24h and 72, 50, 38, 30 and 25 % after 48 h with 10, 25, 50, 75 and 100 μm of curcumin respectively (p < 0.001). the ratio of the apoptotic cells were significantly increased in a time-dependent manner (p<0.001). maximal apoptosis was observed after 72 h.


Conclusion: it was concluded that curcumin is a potent agent able to inhibit the cell growth and induce apoptosis in hcc cells.


Keywords: curcumin, proliferation, apoptosis, hepatocellular carcinoma