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Morinda citrifolia Leaf Induced Leukemia Cells Apoptosis and Produced Synergistic Effects with Zerumbone

Negin Ahmadi, Heshu Sulaiman Rahman, Rozita Rosli, Tengku Azmi Tengku Ibrahim, Swee Keong Yeap, Suhaila Mohamed


Leukemia is the most common cancer among children and the 7th most common cancer worldwide. The vegetable Morinda citrifolia leaves was investigated and compared with Zerumbone (a known anti-leukemia compound) separately and in combination, for their apoptotic effects on murine myelomonocytic leukaemia cell line (WEHI-3B).  Zerumbone, a sesquiterpene from Zingiber zerumbet was anti-cancer via suppressing free radical generation, inflammation, cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, anti-apoptosis, NF-κβ, Iκβα kinase activation and invasion. The Morinda leaf extract (standardized to the coumarin scopoletin and the flavonoid epicatechin) dose-dependently inhibited WEHI-3B cells proliferation with an IC50 of 17.1±0.1 μg/ml after 72 h incubations. Comparatively, the leaf extract alone and in combination with Zerumbone significantly suppressed WEHI-3B cells with an IC50 of 11.0 and 9.4 μg/ml, respectively. The extract arrested leukemia cells at the G0/G1 phase, and induced apoptosis via the activation of caspase-3 and caspase-8 (death receptor extrinsic pathway). Zerumbone arrested WEHI-3B cell cycle at the G2/M phase and induced apoptosis via the activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9 (intrinsic pathway). When combined, the Zerumbone and Morinda leaf extract indicated synergistic anti-leukemia effects via both the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways, and showed no toxicity to normal cells. Dietary vegetable complementary therapy help support the primary cancer treatments. 



Keywords: Morinda citrifolia, Zerumbone, synergy, leukemia, apoptosis

Cite this Article


Ahmadi N, Rahman HS, Rosli R et al. Morinda citrifolia leaf-induced leukemia cells apoptosis and produced synergistic effects with Zerumbone. Research & Reviews: A Journal of Life Sciences. 2016; 6(3): 24–32p.

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