In vitro anticancer effects of ibuprofen on HeLa cell line

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Elnaz Ghadiri
Rahim Ahmadi
Rahim Ahmadi
Yang Mooi Lim
Kimiya Shams
Marziye Farsimadan
Parisa Alizadeh Naeini


Several studies have reported the anticancer effects of ibuprofen on cervical cancer cells, but the molecular pathway is still unclear in many aspects. This study aimed to investigate the effects of cytotoxic dose of ibuprofen on BAX, BCL-2, caspase-3, MMP-9, KAI-1 and NM23 gene expression levels and evaluation of caspase-3, -8 and -9 activity level in cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. Cervical cancer cells were divided into untreated (control) groups and ibuprofen treated groups. Expression levels of BAX, BCL-2, caspase-3, MMP-9, KAI-1 and NM23 genes were evaluated by Real-time PCR and caspase-3, -8 and -9 activity levels were determined using colorimetric method. Hoechst staining was used to confirm apoptosis. The data were statistically analyzed between groups using ANOVA and independent t-test. Significant increase in expression levels of caspases-3, and BAX/BCL-2 ratio, caspase-3, -8 and -9 activity level and a significant decrease in NM23, KAI-1 genes expression level were observed in HeLa cells treated with ibuprofen cytotoxic concentration. The apoptosis observed in HeLa cells was confirmed by Hoechst 333285 staining and flow cytometry analysis. Ibuprofen increased nuclear condensation and induced apoptosis in HeLa cells by both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways.

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Ghadiri, E. ., Ahmadi, R. ., Ahmadi, R. ., Mooi Lim, Y., Shams, K. ., Farsimadan, M. ., & Alizadeh Naeini, P. . (2021). In vitro anticancer effects of ibuprofen on HeLa cell line. Journal of Biological Studies, 4(3), 93–105. Retrieved from