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Allicin induces apoptosis in EL-4 cells in vitro by activation of expression of caspase-3 and -12 and up-regulation of the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2

Wang, Ziren, Liu, Zhonghu, Cao, Zhiheng, Li, Lan
Natural product research 2012 v.26 no.11 pp. 1033-1037
Allium sativum, DNA, Liliaceae, T-lymphocytes, allicin, apoptosis, caspase-3, condensation, cytochrome c, garlic, membrane potential, mice
Garlic (Allium sativum L.; Liliaceae) has been widely demonstrated in the role of cancer prevention, but the specific compound in garlic corresponding to this effect and its mechanisms are not clearly known. Allicin is one of the organic sulphur compounds derived from garlic. In the present study we investigated the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities of allicin in murine T-lymphocytes (EL-4) and the mechanism of inducing apoptosis in vitro. The results showed that allicin was effective in inhibiting the proliferation of EL-4 cells in vitro in a concentration-dependent manner. Further, allicin could induce the formation of apoptotic bodies, nuclear condensation, DNA spallation, and even activated the expression of caspase-3, -12 and cytochrome C (cyt C). Finally, allicin up-regulated the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 and induced a mitochondrion membrane potential (MMP) decrease. Allicin induced apoptosis in EL-4 cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, in which the mitochondrial pathway might play a central role.