Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 843–853 | Cite as

The Blepharis persica seed hydroalcoholic extract synergistically enhances the apoptotic effect of doxorubicin in human colon cancer and gastric cancer cells

  • Kian Aghaabbasi
  • Nahid AskariEmail author
  • Hassan Hassani Kumleh
  • Masoud Torkzadeh-Mahani
  • Abdullah Ramzani-Ghara
Original Article


The goal of this survey is to evaluate the anti-proliferative effects of the hydroalcholic extract of Blepharis persica seeds and its synergic effect on doxorubicin (DOX) in human colon cancer (HT-29) and gastric cancer cell (AGS) lines. 70% Ethanol was used for extraction of B. persica seed. Aluminum–chloride colorimetric and Folin–Ciocalteu reagent methods were used to measure total flavonoid and total phenolic contents of the extract respectively. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of the B. persica extract was performed on GC-MS equipment after silylation. HT-29, AGS, and human fibroblast (SKM) cell lines were treated by different concentration of the B. persica extract, (DOX) and the combination of extraction and DOX. The cytotoxicity was measured using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay while the apoptosis induction was monitored using flowcytometry by annexin-V FITC/PI double-staining. The changes in expression levels of BAX and BCL-2 were determined using Real-Time RT-qPCR. GC-MS analysis of the hydroalcoholic extract from B. persica seeds revealed 24 major components. The MTT assay revealed the cytotoxicity against three cell lines and also it was shown that 125 ng/mL of DOX and 0.625 mg/mL of B. persica extract had synergistic behavior against HT29 cell line. These results showed B. persica extract induced apoptosis in AGS and HT29 cells and its extract caused dose-dependent increase in up-regulation of BAX level (p < 0.05) and down-regulation of BCL2 (p < 0.05). B. persica showed the synergistic effect in combination with DOX on HT29 cell line. These findings demonstrated a basis for further studies on the characterization and mechanistic evaluation of the bioactive compounds of B. persica extract which had antiproliferative effects on cancer cell lines.


Blepharis persica GC-MS Apoptosis HT29 AGS 




MTT assay

3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide




Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry


Human gastric cancer cell line


Human colon cancer cell line


Human fibroblast cell line


Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction


Total flavonoid content


Total phenolic content



The authors would like to thank members of the Graduate University of Advanced Technology for their helpful advices on various technical issues examined in this survey.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyUniversity of GuilanRashtIran
  2. 2.Research Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Sciences and High Technology and Environmental SciencesGraduate University of Advanced TechnologyKermanIran
  3. 3.Faculty of Agricultural SciencesUniversity of GuilanRashtIran
  4. 4.Faculty of Basic Sciences, Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of JiroftKermanIran

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