The cytotoxic effect of ajoene, a natural product from garlic, investigated with different cell lines

Author(s): Scharfenberg K, Wagner R, Wagner KG


The sulfur-containing compound ajoene (4,5,9-trithiadodeca-1,6,11-triene-9-oxide) which arises from alliin, a cysteine derivative stored in garlic bulbs, was produced synthetically by decomposition of allicin. Its cytotoxic effect was tested using human primary fibroblasts (FS4), a permanent, non-tumorgenic cell line derived from baby hamster kidney cells (BHK21) and a tumorgenic lymphoid cell line derived from a Burkitt lymphoma (BJA-B). The cytotoxic action was in the range 2-50 micrograms/ml depending on the cell density. ED50 values, estimated on the basis of fmol ajoene/cell, revealed slightly higher doses for the primary cell (FS4) than the permanent line (BHK), whereas the tumorgenic BJA-B cells were most sensitive.

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