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Open Access Research article

Antiproliferative activity and induction of apoptotic by ethanolic extract of Alpinia galanga rhizhome in human breast carcinoma cell line

Saeed Samarghandian1*, Mousa-Al-Reza Hadjzadeh2, Jalil Tavakkol Afshari3 and Mohadeseh Hosseini4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, Neyshabur, Iran

2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Immunogentics and Cell Culture Department, Immunology Research Center, Bu-Ali Research Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Biology, Payame Nour University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:192  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-192

Published: 17 June 2014



We investigated the potential of galangal rhizomes to induce cytotoxic and apoptotic effects in the cultured human breast carcinoma cell line, (MCF-7) in compare with the non-malignant (MRC-5) cells.


Both cells were cultured in DMEM medium and treated with galangal rhizomes for three consecutive days. The percentage of apoptotic cells was determined by flow cytometry using Annexin-V fluorescein isothiocyanate.


The results showed that the ethanolic extract of galangal rhizomes decreased cell viability in the malignant cells as a concentration- and time- dependent manner. The IC50 values against MCF-7 were determined at 400.0 ± 11.7 and 170.0 ± 5.9 μg/ml after 48 and 72 h respectively. The morphology of MCF-7 cells treated with the ethanolic extract confirmed the cell proliferation assay results. Alpinia galanga induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, as determined by flow cytometry.


We concluded that the extract of Alpinia galanga exerts pro-apoptotic effects in a breast cancer-derived cell line and could be considered as a potential chemotherapeutic agent in breast cancer.

Alpinia galanga L; Cytotoxicity; MCF-7; MRC-5; MTT