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Cytotoxic effects of leaf, stem and root extracts of Nerium oleander on leukemia cell lines and role of the p-glycoprotein in this effect
Nevruz Turan, Kadriye Akgün-Dar, Serap Erdem Kuruca, Tülay Kiliçaslan-Ayna, Vildan G Seyhan, Belkis Atasever, Filiz Meriçli, and Mahmut Çarin

Nerium oleander (No), is a toxic plant. In recent studies, it was determined that the extracts of this plant are effective to treat some types of cancer, but these studies are limited and do not include human leukemia. In the present study, firstly we aimed to investigate in vitro the cytotoxic effects of No on the HL60 and K562 leukemia cell lines. The cells were incubated with six different concentrations of each three extracts. MTT assay was employed as a cytotoxicity test. It was observed that concentrations of 1000, 500 and 50 µg/ml from each extract possess marked antileukemic effects. No leaf and root extracts were seen to be more cytotoxic than the stem extract according to LC 50.

Secondly, in order to understand the role of P-gp in cytotoxicity, P-gp levels of K562 resistant and sensitive cells were measured by flow cytometry before treatment extracts, and then, the cells were incubated with No leaf, stem and root extracts in 500 µg/ml concentrations overnight. After incubation, measurements showed decreased levels of P-gp in the cells. Hence, it is possible to think contributes to their cytotoxic effects that inhibiting of the P-gp pump by No extracts on leukemia cell lines.

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