Saeed Samarghandian, Jalil Tavakkol Afshari, Saiedeh Davoodi

Pharmacognosy Magazine 2011 7(25):46-52

Background: The fact that antioxidants have several preventative effects against different diseases, such as coronary diseases, inflammatory disorders, neurologic degeneration, aging, and cancer, has led to the search for food rich in antioxidants. Honey has been used as a traditional food and medical source since ancient times. However, recently many scientists have been concentrating on the antioxidant property of honey. By use of human renal cancer cell lines (ACHN), we investigated the antiproliferative activity, apoptosis, and the antitumor activity of honey. Materials and Methods: The cells were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium with 10% fetal bovine serum treated with different concentrations of honey for 3 consecutive days. Cell viability was quantitated by the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Apoptotic cells were determined using Annexin-V-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) by flow cytometry. Results: Honey decreased the cell viability in the malignant cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The IC 50 values against the ACHN cell lines were determined as 1.7 ± 0.04% and 2.1 ± 0.03% μg/mL after 48 and 72 h, respectively. Honey induced apoptosis of the ACHN cells in a concentration-dependent manner, as determined by flow cytometry histogram of treated cells. Conclusion: It might be concluded that honey may cause cell death in the ACHN cells, in which apoptosis plays an important role. Most of the drugs used in the cancer treatment are apoptotic inducers, hence apoptotic nature of honey is considered vital. Therefore, it prompted us to investigate honey as a potential candidate for renal cancer treatment.