Characterization of Bizzy Nut extracts in estrogen-responsive MCF-7 breast cancer cells

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Kola acuminate, also known as Bizzy Nut or Kola Nut, is a natural product that contains bioactive chemicals that possess hormonal properties. The purpose of this study was to characterize the putative phytoestrogenic compounds present in Bizzy Nut for estrogenic-like activity. As an initial step, five extracts (E1 – hexane, E2 – ether, E3 – acetone, E4 – methanol and E5 – water) were sequentially generated using solid–liquid phase extraction and their bioactivity was examined in MCF-7, MDA-MB-468 and LNCaP cancer cell models. MTT cell viability, dye exclusion, caspase activity and microscopic assessment of apoptotic cells demonstrated that extracts of Bizzy were cytotoxic to MCF-7, MDA-MB 468 and LNCaP cells. In MCF-7 cells, the acetone extract (E3) at 100 ppm elicited a potent cytotoxic response with a growth-inhibitory concentration (GI50) of 67 ppm. In contrast, E3 stimulated growth in LNCaP cells. The ether extract (E2) showed a dose-dependent cytotoxic response with a GI50 of 13 ppm in the LNCaP cell line. Examination of the apoptotic response induced by E2 and E3 paralleled the level of cell cytotoxicity observed in both cell lines. The methanol extract (E4) was the only extract that showed a time-, dose-, and estrogen-receptor-dependent stimulation of pS2 gene expression. On the other hand, the acetone extract (E3), which showed the highest degree of cytotoxicity, showed no transcription stimulation of pS2 in MCF-7 cells. Altogether, these data indicate that Bizzy contains unique active hormonal compounds that have specific biological properties that are cell line-dependent.

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