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Induction of apoptosis in HeLa cancer cells by an ultrasonic-mediated synthesis of curcumin-loaded chitosan–alginate–STPP nanoparticles

Authors Ahmadi F, Ghasemi-Kasman M, Ghasemi S, Gholamitabar Tabari M, Pourbagher R, Kazemi S, Alinejad-Mir A

Received 15 July 2017

Accepted for publication 9 October 2017

Published 29 November 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 8545—8556

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S146516

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster


Fatemeh Ahmadi,1 Maryam Ghasemi-Kasman,2,3 Shahram Ghasemi,4 Maryam Gholamitabar Tabari,5 Roghayeh Pourbagher,2 Sohrab Kazemi,6 Ali Alinejad-Mir7

1Student Research Committee, Babol University of Medical Sciences, 2Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Center, 3Neuroscience Research Center, Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran; 4Faculty of Chemistry, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran; 5Infertility and Health Reproductive Research Center, Health Research Institute, 6Cancer Research Center, Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran; 7Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran

Abstract: Natural herbal compounds have been widely introduced as an alternative therapeutic approach in cancer therapy. Despite potent anticancer activity of curcumin, its clinical application has been limited because of low water solubility and resulting poor bioavailability. In this study, we designed a novel ultrasonic-assisted method for the synthesis of curcumin-loaded chitosan–alginate–sodium tripolyphosphate nanoparticles (CS-ALG-STPP NPs). Furthermore, antitumor effect of curcumin-loaded NPs was evaluated in vitro. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to characterize the properties of NPs. Antitumor activity of curcumin-loaded NPs was assessed by using MTT and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). FE-SEM and AFM data revealed the spherical morphology, and the average size of NPs was <50 nm. In vitro cytotoxicity assay suggested that curcumin-loaded CS-ALG-STPP NPs displayed significant antitumor activity compared with the free curcumin. Gene expression level analyses showed that curcumin NPs significantly increased the apoptotic gene expression. Collectively, our results suggest that curcumin-loaded NPs significantly suppressed proliferation and promoted the induction of apoptosis in human cervical epithelioid carcinoma cancer cells, which might be regarded as an effective alternative strategy for cancer therapy.

Keywords: cancer, curcumin, biodegradable nanoparticles, antitumor activity, apoptosis induction

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