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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 732404, 10 pages
Research Article

Antileukemic Potential of Momordica charantia Seed Extracts on Human Myeloid Leukemic HL60 Cells

1Gene Regulation Laboratory, School of Biotechnology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110 067, India
2Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, New Delhi 110 007, India

Received 7 January 2012; Revised 20 February 2012; Accepted 21 February 2012

Academic Editor: Raffaele Capasso

Copyright © 2012 Ramani Soundararajan 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.


Momordica charantia (bitter gourd) has been used in the traditional system of medicine for the treatment of various diseases. Anticancer activity of M. charantia extracts has been demonstrated by numerous in vitro and in vivo studies. In the present study, we investigated the differentiation inducing potential of fractionated M. charantia seed extracts in human myeloid HL60 cells. We found that the HL60 cells treated with the fractionated seed extracts differentiated into granulocytic lineage as characterized by NBT staining, CD11b expression, and specific esterase activity. The differentiation inducing principle was found to be heat-stable, and organic in nature. The differentiation was accompanied by a downregulation of c-myc transcript, indicating the involvement of c-myc pathway, at least in part, in differentiation. Taken together these results indicate that fractionated extracts of M. charantia seeds possess differentiation inducing activity and therefore can be evaluated for their potential use in differentiation therapy for leukemia in combination with other inducers of differentiation.