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Anticancer effect of Alnus japonica extracts through the caspase-dependent pathway
In this study, Alnus japonica extracts were evaluated for their in vitro antioxidant potential and anticancer effects in AGS human gastric carcinoma cell lines. The antioxidant properties of A. japonica extracts were evaluated by several biochemical assays, including FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant power) assay, ABTS (2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid), DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl), alkyl and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities. These results show that ethanol extracts of A. japonica (AJE) have greater antioxidant activity than water extracts of A. japonica (AJW). AJE extracts inhibited cell growth and induced cell death by increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in AGS cells. Moreover, AJE extracts specifically triggered apoptosis when caspase-8, 7, 3, and poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) were activated. These results suggest that treatment with AJE extracts could be a new promising strategy for clinical chemotherapy.