Anti-cancer activity of an ethanolic extract of red okra pods (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench) in rats induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea

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Background and Aim: Breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy in women. The consumption of phytochemical components from plants may play an essential role in preventing and treating this cancer. This study aimed to investigate the anti-cancer activity of an ethanolic extract of red okra pods (EEROP) in rats (Rattus norvegicus) induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU). Materials and Methods: The experimental animals were divided into six groups (n=5/group), namely, KN (normal control, without any treatment), K− (negative control, exposed to MNU without EEROP), K+ (positive control, exposed to MNU and Methotrexate), and the treatment Groups P1, P2, and P3 (exposed to MNU and EEROP at doses of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body weight [BW], respectively). Intraperitoneal delivery of MNU and EEROP oral administration was carried out for 8 weeks. After the end of treatment, the parameters of cytokines, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and mammary gland histology were measured. Results: The results showed that EEROP at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg BW significantly downregulated interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1ß, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-17, IL-10, and tumor growth factor-β (p<0.05). In addition, doses of 200 mg/kg BW significantly increased the activity of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, prevented the proliferation of mammary gland epithelial cells, and yielded a significantly thinner epithelium of the mammary gland (p<0.05). Conclusion: It can be concluded that EEROP was an effective anti-cancer agent by modulating the immune response. Further studies using a nanoparticle system are warranted to achieve optimal working conditions for these bioactive compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1184
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary World
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • N-methyl-N-nitrosourea
  • cancer
  • cytokines
  • histology of mammary gland
  • red okra pods


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