Evaluation of cytotoxic effect of monolaurin on human breast cancer cell line (mcf-7)

Elham Rahimi,1,*



fatty acids, monoglycerides, and some esters of fatty acids have shown antitumor and antimicrobial effects. monolaurin (1-glycerol-monolaurate) is an esterified form of lauric acid which is found in coconut oil and might be similar to some monoglycerides found in human breast milk. in the present study, we evaluated the cytotoxic effect of monolaurin on a human breast cencer cell line (mcf-7) and also a normal breast cell line (mcf-10a).


The cytotoxic effect of monolaurin on mcf-7 and mcf-10a cell lines was evaluated using standard mtt assay. for this purpose, different concentrations (20- 120 µg/ml) of monolaurin were tested for evaluation of cell viability and ic50 values. data analysis was performed by the spss software using anova.


Monolaurin could reduce the viability of mcf-7 cells, with the ic50 value of 80 µg/ml, while it did not show any significant cytotoxic effect on mcf-10a cells in these concentrations.


Our results indicated that monolaurin might have cytotoxic effect on breast cancer cells but not normal breast cells. therefor it could be suggested to be used as a cytotoxic agent in breast cancer treatment, although in vivo evaluation are necessary to confirm it.


Cytotoxic effect, monolaurin, breast cancer, mcf-7, mtt assay