Comparison of the Apoptosis Induction Effect of Pomegranate Peel Extract on Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells and Melanoma

Document Type : Original Article (s)


1 PhD Student, Applied Physiology Research Center AND Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine AND Applied Physiology Research Center AND Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Apoptosis defect plays an important role in the formation of tumors and its disruption causes resistance to treatment. The effects of pomegranate on the inhibition of apoptosis and cell proliferation of some cancer types have been demonstrated. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of black pomegranate peel extract on cell survival, morphology, and apoptosis of melanoma cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs).Methods: The hydroalcoholic extract of black pomegranate pericarp was prepared. Toxicity of melanoma and HUVEC was evaluated through MTT assay (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) in the experimental group at different concentrations of the extract (10, 100, 200, 300 μg/ml) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) 0.1% in the control group. In addition, apoptosis was studied using Annexin-V test and flow cytometry. The morphology of the cells was examined under a microscope.Findings: After 48 hours, melanoma cell survival significantly decreased in a concentration-dependent manner (P < 0.05), but it had no effect on HUVEC proliferation. Exposure of cells to half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) at a dose of 77.5 μg/ml led to the induction of early apoptosis (43.05%) and late apoptosis (0.05%) in melanoma cells that was significantly increased compared to the control group (P < 0.05). In addition, 56.9% of cells were healthy. Apoptosis induction was not observed in HUVECs. Pomegranate peel extract only induced morphological changes such as cell shrinkage and rounding of cell membrane in melanoma cells.Conclusion: Pomegranate peel extract induces apoptosis, death, and morphological changes in melanoma cells. However, it has no effect on HUVECs. It seems that this extract can be a good candidate for apoptosis induction in melanoma cells as complementary therapy.


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