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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 6 (2009), Issue 2, Pages 233-238
Original Article

Regulation of Caspase-3 and Bcl-2 Expression in Dalton's Lymphoma Ascites Cells by Abrin

1Department of Physiology, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Kerala Agricultural University, Mannuthy, Thrissur, 680 651, Kerala, India
2Department of Immunology, Amala Nagar, Thrissur, 680 553, Kerala, India
3Amala Cancer Research Centre, Amala Nagar, Thrissur, 680 553, Kerala, India

Received 17 October 2006; Accepted 27 June 2007

Copyright © 2009 V. Ramnath 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.


The role of abrin, a toxic lectin isolated from seeds of Abrus precatorius Linn in inducing apoptosis in murine Dalton's Lymphoma Ascites (DLA) cells was evaluated. Abrin when incubated at the concentration of 10 ng per million DLA cells could bring about cell death as typical morphological changes with apoptosis. However, necrotic cell death dominated when a higher dose of abrin was used. DNA samples, isolated from DLA cells treated with abrin showed fragmentation. Abrin brought about induction of apoptosis by stimulating the expression of pro-apoptotic Caspase-3, at the same time blocking the expression of Bcl-2, which is an anti apoptotic gene. However, the expression of tumor suppressor gene p53 has not been observed in control and abrin-treated DLA cells. Results suggested that abrin effectively induced apoptotic changes in the tumor cells that led to cellular death.