In vitro evaluation of the antiproliferative activity of Carpobrotus edulis on human neuroblastoma cells

Sylvester Ifeanyi Omoruyi, Adaze Bijou Enogieru, Okobi Eko Ekpo

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Neuroblastoma is a solid neuroendocrine tumour located outside the cranial cavity and contributes about 15% of all cancer‑associated deaths in children. Treatment of neuroblastoma is quite challenging and involves the use of chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. Despite treatment strategies, systemic toxicity are setbacks to patient well-being, hence the need for a new and affordable approach. Medicinal plants are of importance in the field of drug discovery for cancer as some notable anti-cancer agents have been isolated from them. In the present study, the anti-cancer activity of aqueous extract of Carpobrotus edulis (C. edulis), a ground-creeping edible medicinal plant was investigated in SK-N-BE(2) and SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. The effect of C. edulis on cell viability and survival was determined using MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]−2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide) and clonogenic assays respectively. Apoptosis was determined using a Caspase-9 assay kit and flow cytometry was used to measure intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential. The results show that C. edulis inhibits cell viability (IC50 of 0.86 mg/ml and 1.45 mg/ml for SK-N-BE(2) and SHSY5Y cells respectively) and colony formation in the neuroblastoma cells as well as induce apoptosis, which is evidenced by an increase in caspase-9 activity in the cells. C. edulis also led to a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and increased production of ROS. Collectively, these results suggest that C. edulis induces cell death via induction of mitochondrial‐mediated apoptosis and accumulation of intracellular ROS, thus providing a rationale for further investigations.

Original languageBritish English
Article number100519
JournalJournal of Herbal Medicine
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Apoptosis
  • Carpobrotus edulis
  • Mitochondrial membrane potential
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Reactive oxygen species


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