Moringa isothiocyanate complexed with α-cyclodextrin: a new perspective in neuroblastoma treatment

Sabrina Giacoppo, Renato Iori, Patrick Rollin, Placido Bramanti, Emanuela Mazzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Several lines of evidence suggest the consume of natural products for cancer prevention or treatment. In particular, isothiocyanates (ITCs) exerting anti-cancer properties, have received great interest as potential chemotherapeutic agents. This study was designed to assess the anti-proliferative activities of a new preparation of Moringa oleifera-derived 4-(α-L-rhamnopyranosyloxy)benzyl ITC (moringin) complexed with alpha-cyclodextrin (moringin + α-CD; MAC) on SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. This new formulation arises in the attempt to overcome the poor solubility and stability of moringin alone in aqueous media.

METHODS: SH-SY5Y cells were cultured and exposed to increasing concentrations of MAC (1.0, 2.5 and 5.0 μg). Cell proliferation was examined by MTT and cell count assays. The cytotoxic activity of the MAC complex was assessed by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay and trypan blue exclusion test. In addition, western blotting analyses for the main apoptosis-related proteins were performed.

RESULTS: Treatment of SH-SY5Y cells with the MAC complex reduced cell growth in concentration dependent manner. Specifically, MAC exhibited a potent action in inhibiting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, whose aberrant activation was found in many types of cancer. MAC was also found to induce the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65 activation by phosphorylation and its translocation into the nucleus. Moreover, treatment with MAC was able to down-regulate MAPK pathway (results focused on JNK and p38 expression). Finally, MAC was found to trigger apoptotic death pathway (based on expression levels of cleaved-caspase 3, Bax/Bcl-2 balance, p53 and p21).

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that use of MAC complex may open novel perspectives to improve the poor prognosis of patients with neuroblastoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362
JournalBMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 14 2017


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Apoptosis
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Down-Regulation
  • Humans
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Moringa
  • NF-kappa B
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Signal Transduction
  • Solubility
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • alpha-Cyclodextrins
  • Journal Article


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