Alginate nanoparticles containing Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil and α-pinene: cytotoxicity and effect on apoptotic-involved genes in human melanoma and breast cancer cell lines

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran

2 Department of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran

3 Estahban Higher Education Center- Shiraz University, Estahban, Iran

4 Department of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Faculty of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Noncommunicable Diseases Research Center, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran

6 Department of medical nanotechnology, schools of advanced technologies in medicine, Fasa university of medical sciences (FUMS), Fasa, Iran.


Cancers are one of the major causes of death, and the development of new medicine using advanced technologies such as nanotechnology has thus received more attention. Rosmarinus officinalis as a common medicinal plant possess many biological effects, such as anticancer effects. This study investigated the chemical compositions of its essential oil using GC-MS analysis. Alpha-pinene (24.0%), eucalyptol (16.99%), verbenone (8.79%), L-borneol (7.79%), and camphor (6.87%) were the five major compounds. After that, alginate nanoparticles containing α-pinene (major compound) and R. officinalis essential oil were prepared with particle sizes of 137 ± 8 and 151 ± 7. Besides, successful loading of α-pinene or the essential oil in nanoparticles was confirmed using ATR-FTIR analysis. The efficacy (IC50) of alginate nanoparticles containing α-pinene against A-375 and MCF-7 were 582 (179-1886) µg/mL and 94 (47-187) µg/mL. These values for alginate nanoparticles containing R. officinalis essential oil were obtained as 807 (470-1383) µg/mL and 235 (168-328) µg/mL. Moreover, RT-PCR results show that the Bcl2 (anti-apoptotic gene) level in MCF-7 treated cells with alginate nanoparticles containing R. officinalis essential oil was higher than Bax (apoptotic gene); another cell death pathway rather than apoptosis was involved. Considering the proper efficacy of alginate nanoparticles containing the essential oil or α-pinene, especially against MCF-7 cells, they could be considered for further investigation in vivo.


Main Subjects

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