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posted on 10.02.2020, 08:57 authored by Felicia Patti, Alessandro Palmioli, Sara Vitalini, Loris Bertazza, Marco Redaelli, Maira Zorzan, Beatrice Rubin, Caterina Mian, Cristina Bertolini, Maurizio Iacobone, Decio Armanini, Susi Barollo, Cristina Airoldi, Marcello Iriti, Raffaele Pezzani

Mint [Mentha longifolia (L.) Hudson] is an aromatic plant that belongs to Lamiaceae family. It is traditionally used as herbal tea in Europe, Australia and North Africa and shows numerous pharmacological effects, such as spasmolytic, antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-hemolytic. Recently, its antiproliferative role has been suggested in a small number of tumor cell models, but no data are available on adrenocortical carcinoma, a malignancy with a survival rate at 5 years of 20%–30% which frequently metastasize. This work aimed to study the effects of Mentha longifolia L. crude extract (ME) on two adrenocortical tumor cell models (H295R and SW13 cells). Chemical composition of ME was assessed by gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy analysis. Brine shrimp lethality assay showed ME effects at >0.5 µg/µl (p < 0.05). Cell viability and vitality were determined by MTT, SRB, and trypan blue assays in H295R and SW13 cells. The anti-proliferative effects of ME were more evident in SW13 cells at 72 h (ME > 0.5 µg/µl, p < 0.05). Combination of ME with mitotane (approved drug for adrenocortical carcinoma) seemed not to reinforce the efficacy of the herb. As control, human fibroblasts were treated with ME with no effect on cell viability. Clonogenic assay was concordant with previous cell viability tests (ME > 0.5 µg/µl, p < 0.05), while Wright staining demonstrated the presence of both necrotic and apoptotic cells. Cell cycle analysis showed a strong increase in subG0/G1 phase, related to cell death. Furthermore, MAPK and PI3k/Akt pathways were modulated by Western blot analysis when treating cells with ME alone or combined with mitotane. The crude methanolic extract of wild mountain mint can decrease cell viability, vitality and survival of adrenocortical tumor cell models, in particular of SW13 cells. These data show the potential anticancer effects of ME, still more work is needed to corroborate these findings.

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