Naringenin inhibits migration of breast cancer cells via inflammatory and apoptosis cell signaling pathways

  • Zhenjiang Zhao
  • Guoguo Jin
  • Yinghui GeEmail author
  • Zhiping Guo
Original Article



Naringenin, a flavonoid compound, has a wide variety of uses in the pharmaceutical industry for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential.


The current experiment aimed to investigate the anticancer effect of naringenin in triple-negative human breast cancer cells (MDA-MR-231) and an animal model with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a] anthracene (DMBA)-induced breast cancer in female rats to determine the mechanisms and molecular targets.


The cytotoxic effects of naringenin against MDA-MB-231 cells were assessed by MTT assay. Apoptosis and cell cycle alterations were analyzed via flow cytometry. Morphological and biochemical changes in DMBA-induced cancer with naringenin treatment were assayed using our protocol. The potential mechanisms of action were verified via qRT-PCR.


Naringenin was found to inhibit cell proliferation in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. This effect was associated with cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase, along with apoptosis and deposition at the sub-G1 phase (75%). Treatment with naringenin reduced tumor incidence (45.55, 40, and 27.67%) and tumor burden (78.7, 35.4, and 1.2 g) in a dose-dependent manner. Naringenin treatment altered the biochemical and antioxidant parameters related to inflammation necessary for anticancer activity. The qRT-PCR studies further confirmed the mitochondrial-mediated apoptotic effects of naringenin.


On the basis of these results, we can conclude that naringenin exerts an anticancer effect in the MDA-MB-231 cell line that arrests cell development at the G0/G1 phase, and in vivo it alters the mitochondrial-mediated intrinsic pathway responsible for apoptosis.


Naringenin Apoptosis Caspase-3 DMBA Breast cancer 


Supplementary material

10787_2018_556_MOESM1_ESM.docx (955 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1103 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhenjiang Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guoguo Jin
    • 3
  • Yinghui Ge
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Zhiping Guo
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.People’s Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyLuoyang Orthopedic Hospital of Henan ProvinceZhengzhouChina
  3. 3.Bone Tumor Research OfficeLuoyang Orthopedic Hospital of Henan ProvinceZhengzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyFuwai Central China Cardiovascular HospitalZhengzhouChina
  5. 5.Henan Luoyang Orthopaedics InstituteZhengzhouChina
  6. 6.Fuwai Central China Cardiovascular HospitalZhengzhouChina

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