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Cytotoxic effects of Mangifera indica L. kernel extract on human breast cancer (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines) and bioactive constituents in the crude extract

Al-Shwyeh Hussah Abdullah1, Abdulkarim Sabo Mohammed1*, Rasedee Abdullah23, Mohamed Elwathig Saeed Mirghani4 and Mothanna Al-Qubaisi5

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

2 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

3 Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

4 Department of Biotechnology Engineering Faculty of Engineering, International Islamic, University Malaysia (IIUM), P.O. BOX 10, 50728 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

5 Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology, Universiti Putra, Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:199  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-199

Published: 25 June 2014



Waterlily Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is thought to be antioxidant-rich, conferred by its functional phytochemicals.


The potential anticancer effects of the ethanolic kernel extract on breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) using MTT, anti-proliferation, neutral red (NR) uptake and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assays were evaluated. Cytological studies on the breast cancer cells were also conducted, and phytochemical analyses of the extract were carried out to determine the likely bioactive compounds responsible for such effects.


Results showed the extract induced cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-231 cells and MCF-7 cells with IC50 values of 30 and 15 μg/mL, respectively. The extract showed significant toxicity towards both cell lines, with low toxicity to normal breast cells (MCF-10A). The cytotoxic effects on the cells were further confirmed by the NR uptake, antiproliferative and LDH release assays. Bioactive analyses revealed that many bioactives were present in the extract although butylated hydroxytoluene, a potent antioxidant, was the most abundant with 44.65%.


M. indica extract appears to be more cytoxic to both estrogen positive and negative breast cancer cell lines than to normal breast cells. Synergistic effects of its antioxidant bioactives could have contributed to the cytotoxic effects of the extract. The extract of M. indica, therefore, has potential anticancer activity against breast cancer cells. This potential is worth studying further, and could have implications on future studies and eventually management of human breast cancers.

Mangifera indica L; kernel extract; MCF-7 cells; MDA-MB-231 cell; Cytotoxicity; Anticancer activity