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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 439479, 9 pages
Research Article

Autophagic Cell Death Is Induced by Acetone and Ethyl Acetate Extracts from Eupatorium odoratum In Vitro: Effects on MCF-7 and Vero Cell Lines

1Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
2School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

Received 23 October 2011; Accepted 19 December 2011

Academic Editor: Julie Gavard

Copyright © 2012 Faizah Bt. Harun 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.


Eupatorium odoratum (EO) contains many biologically active compounds, the anticancer effects of which are not well documented. This study evaluates the cytotoxic effects and mechanism of action of EO extracts on MCF-7 and Vero cell lines. Evaluation of the cytotoxic activity using MTT assay, morphological alterations, and apoptosis were carried out. Autophagy was evaluated by LC3-A protein expression. Cytotoxic activity, membrane blebbing and ballooning at 24 hours, replacement by mass vacuolation, and double membrane vesicles mimicking autophagy and cell death were observed in the cancer cells. No apoptosis was observed by DNA fragmentation assay. Overexpression of LC3-A protein indicated autophagic cell death. Cell cycle analysis showed G0 and G2/M arrest. The Vero cells did not show significant cell death at concentrations <100 μg/mL. These results thus suggest that acetone and ethyl acetate extracts of EO induce cell death through induction of autophagy and hold potential for development as potential anticancer drugs.