Evaluation of Hydro-Alcoholic Extract of Trifolium Pratens L. for Its Anti-Cancer Potential on U87MG Cell Line

Document Type : Original Article


1 Fertility and Infertility Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of Endodontics, Dental Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Glioblastoma multiforme is the most malignant form of brain tumors. Trifolium pratense L. has been suggested for cancer treatment in traditional medicine. Here we have investigated the effects of T. pratense extract on glioblastoma multiforme cell line (U87MG).
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study the effect of T. pratense extract on cell viability was investigated using trypan blue staining, MTT assay, and lactate dehydrogenase activity measurement. Apoptosis and autophagy cell death were detected by fluorescent staining. Nitric oxide (No) production was measured using Griess reaction. Expression levels of some apoptotic and autophagic-related genes were detected using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The combination effects of T. pratense extract and temozolomide (TMZ) were evaluated by calculating the combination index and dose reduction index values.
After treatment with T. pratense extract, the cell viability was significantly reduced in a time- and dose- dependent manner (P < 0.05). Apoptosis and autophagy of U87MG cells were significantly increased (P < 0.05). Also, T. pratense extract significantly decreased NO production (P < 0.05) by U87MG cells. Combination of TMZ and T. pratense extract had a synergistic cytotoxic effect.
T. pratense showed anti-cancer properties via induction of apoptosis and autophagy cell death.