Ethanol extract of Monringa oleifera leaves has been shown to possess anticancer properties in animal models. The mechanisms of action of its anticancer properties have not been fully demonstrated. In this study, we induced leukemia in two groups of 7 rats each by intravenous injection of benzene chromasolv solution (0.2 mL) 48 hourly for 4 weeks. The extract (0.2 ml of 100 mg/mL) was administered orally by gavage, after leukemia induction, daily for 4 weeks to one of the groups while the other group was not treated. The third group served as the normal control. At the end of the treatment, the rats were immobilized by cervical dislocation and blood samples were collected by cardiac puncture. Plasma concentrations of Beta-2 Microglobulins (β2M), Perforins (PF), Interleukin-2(IL2), Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and Tumour Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-α) were determined by standard commercial ELISA Results showed that leukemia was induced within 4 weeks as a significantly elevated leukocyte count and plasma β2M concentration over the baseline were noted (p< 0.05). Plasma IL2 and TNF-α were also significantly elevated while PF and IFN-γ decreased significantly in Moringa oleifera leaves extract treated rats compared with untreated groups. Since IL2 and PF are associated with cytotoxicity of CD8 T lymphocytes, reduced expression of PF in the face of increasing plasma concentration of IL-2 suggests that Moringa oleifera extract may not exert its anticancer properties via direct cytotoxicity. We thus concluded that increased expression TNF-α may translate to enhanced apoptosis and may be a possible mechanism of action.

Citation Format: Olufemi E. Akanni, Adebayo L. Adedeji, Kola J. Oloke. Upregulation of TNF-α by ethanol extract of Moringa oleifera leaves in benzene-induced leukemic Wister rat: a possible mechanism of anticancer property. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2014 Apr 5-9; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2014;74(19 Suppl):Abstract nr 3792. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2014-3792