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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 989841, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/989841
Research Article

Tualang Honey Promotes Apoptotic Cell Death Induced by Tamoxifen in Breast Cancer Cell Lines

1Department of Chemical Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia Health Campus, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
2School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

Received 30 September 2012; Accepted 7 January 2013

Academic Editor: Alfredo Vannacci

Copyright © 2013 Nik Soriani Yaacob et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Tualang honey (TH) is rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids and has significant anticancer activity against breast cancer cells comparable to the effect of tamoxifen (TAM), in vitro. The current study evaluated the effects of TH when used in combination with TAM on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. We observed that TH promoted the anticancer activity of TAM in both the estrogen receptor-(ER-)responsive and ER-nonresponsive human breast cancer cell lines. Flow cytometric analyses indicated accelerated apoptosis especially in MDA-MB-231 cells and with the involvement of caspase-3/7, -8 and -9 activation as shown by fluorescence microscopy. Depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane was also increased in both cell lines when TH was used in combination with TAM compared to TAM treatment alone. TH may therefore be a potential adjuvant to be used with TAM for reducing the dose of TAM, hence, reducing TAM-induced adverse effects.