Amygdalin is a chemical compound found in the seeds of many edible plants. Different studies using cancer cell cultures in vitro indicate its potential anti-cancer activity. Various types of cancer cells showed different responses to different doses of amygdalin. This may suggest many in vitro models of the activity of this compound. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of amygdalin on MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and T-47D breast cancer cells and on HFF-1 normal dermal fibroblasts (control cell culture) in vitro. Cell proliferation, viability, and the changes in mRNA transcript levels of basic proteins (BAX, caspase 3 and BCL-2) involved in apoptosis were analyzed.

Materials and Methods

MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, T-47D, and HFF-1 cell lines were purchased from the ATCC. Amygdalin derived from apricot kernels was purchased from Sigma-Aldrich. CVDE, WST-1, and LDH assays were used to evaluate the effects of amygdalin on cell proliferation and viability. Molecular evaluation of gene transcription levels was performed using the RT-qPCR technique.


Amygdalin causes a dose-dependent decrease in proliferation and metabolic activity of MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and T-47D cells in the in vitro cultures. In all cell cultures amygdalin affects the mRNA levels of pro-apoptotic BAX and caspase 3 proteins and anti-apoptotic BCL-2 protein.


Amygdalin anti-cancer activity may be selective in relation to different cell types. It seems that examined breast cancer cells are more sensitive to amygdalin than normal cells.

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Argomenti della rivista:
Scienze biologiche, Biologia molecolare, Microbiologia e virologia, Medicina, Scienze medicali di base, Immunologia