Background: We aimed to investigate the antitumor potentiality and radiosensitizing effect of Fagonia arabica ethanolic extract (FAEE) on mice bearing solid ehrlich carcinoma (EC).
Method: This experimental animal study included 90 Balb-c mice and divided them into four groups: Group I: 10 EC-bearing mice as untreated controls; Group II: 10 EC-bearing mice exposed to a single dose of ionizing radiation (IR) at tumor localization (6Gy); Group III: 30 EC-bearing mice, each 10 mice received different dose of FAEE (250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg/day); Group IV: 30 EC-bearing mice, each 10 mice received different dose of FAEE (250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg/day) plus a single dose of IR (6Gy). P-FOXO3a and p-AKT levels were measured in tumor tissue homogenate via ELISA technique. Bcl-2 gene expression was assessed with RT-PCR. Tumor tissues were stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin stain and examined.
Results: FAEE has antiproliferative effect on EC-bearing mice reflected by the decrease in tumor volume and tumor growth rate in a dose-dependent manner. Combination of FAEE with IR significantly increased radiation-induced tumor damage in comparison with IR alone. We observed a significant decrease in the concentration of p-AKT and p-FOXO3a and down-regulation of Bcl-2 gene in the EC-bearing mice treated with FAEE only or in combination with IR.
Conclusion: FAEE may be an effective anti-tumor agent against breast cancer. FAEE exerts radio-sensitizing effect, especially at a dose of 500 mg/kg. FAEE interferes with the apoptosis process via decreasing p-AKT and p-FOXO3a and down-regulation of Bcl-2 gene.