Alexandria Journal of Medicine

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In vitro antimetastatic activity of Agarwood (Aquilaria crassna) essential oils against pancreatic cancer cells

Saad Sabbar Dahham, Yasser M Tabana, Loiy E Ahmed Hassan, Mohamed B Khadeer Ahamed, Aman Shah Abdul Majid, Amin Malik Shah Abdul Majid


Background: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal malignant tumors which remains a rampant killer across the globe. Lack of early diagnosis and toxic drugs have failed to improve the survival rate of pancreatic cancer patients, thus new agents that are safe, available and effective are urgently needed.
Objective: The study aimed to investigate the efficacy of Agarwood essential oils in the inhibition of metastasis and induction of apoptosis in the pancreatic cell line (MIA PaCa-2).
Methods: Essential oils of Aquilaria crassna were obtained by hydrodistillation.  Chemical characterization was analyzed using FTIR and GCMS. The effects of essential oils against three steps of metastases have been investigated, including cell proliferation, migration and clonogenicity. Hoechst and rhodamine assays confirmed the mechanism of pancreatic cancer cell death.
Results: The results showed that essential oils exhibited potent cytotoxic activity against MIA PaCa-2 cells with an IC50 (11± 2.18 lg/ml). Cell migration was effectively inhibited at (10 lg/ml). Moreover, at a sub-toxic dose (5 lg/mL), essential oils obstructed the colony formation properties of MIA PaCa-2 significantly. The mechanism of cell death was determined due to the induction of nuclear  condensation and disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential in the cells. Interestingly, several active components were existed in the chemical profile of the essential oils extract such as b-Caryophyllene, 1-Phenanthrenecarboxylic acid, azulene, naphthalene and Cyclodecene.
Conclusion: The present study elucidated for the first time the anti-pancreatic cancer properties of A. crassna essential oils, It can be concluded that the anticancer effects of the extract could be due to the synergistic effect of the biologically active phytoconstituents present in the essential oils.

Keywords: Essential oils; Agarwood; Aquilaria crassna; Pancreatic cancer
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