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Secondary Metabolites in Flax Root Extracts at Various Stages of Maturity and Effects on Proliferation and Cytotoxicity in Oestrogen-Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Cells

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DOI: 10.4236/abc.2014.42013    3,138 Downloads   4,315 Views

ABSTRACT

Flax contains large amounts of hormone-like compounds, especially lignans. These socalled phytoestrogens are thought to inhibit the cell growth of hormone-sensitive cancers. Hence, we analysed the influence of flax root extracts at various stages of maturity on the proliferation and cytotoxicity in oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer cells (MCF7) in vitro. Flax root extracts were prepared by using lignan extraction. The extracted compounds were analysed by Pyrolysis-Field Ionisation Mass Spectrometry. Various extract concentrations were applied to the cells to test for proliferation (BrdU test) and cytotoxicity (LDH test). A significantly higher inhibition of cell proliferation was observed with an extract made from 9-week-old flax roots in comparison with that of 3- and 6-week-old roots. Older roots contained more lignans and other phenolic substances than younger roots. The maturity grade of plants or their various parts is thus important for the production and concentration of secondary metabolites and leads to different biological effects on breast cancer cell growth.

Cite this paper

Szewczyk, M. , Strater, N. , Schlichting, A. , Briese, V. and Richter, D. (2014) Secondary Metabolites in Flax Root Extracts at Various Stages of Maturity and Effects on Proliferation and Cytotoxicity in Oestrogen-Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Cells. Advances in Biological Chemistry, 4, 91-97. doi: 10.4236/abc.2014.42013.

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