Volume 22, Issue 4 (9-2019)                   J Arak Uni Med Sci 2019, 22(4): 40-51 | Back to browse issues page

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Tavakkol Afshari H S, Homayouni Tabrizi M, Ardalan T. Evaluation of Antioxidant and Anticancer Effects of Nanoemulsions Prepared Using Dill Essential Oil. J Arak Uni Med Sci 2019; 22 (4) :40-51
URL: http://jams.arakmu.ac.ir/article-1-6093-en.html
1- Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran.
2- Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran. , mhomayouni6@gmail.com
3- Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran.
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1. Introduction
Researchers have shown interest in using nanotechnology for the treatment of cancer in recent years. This technology presents unique ways to predict, prevent, or treat cancer at an early stage [1]. Since nanoparticles are 100 to 1000 times smaller than cancer cells, they can interact with tumor-specific proteins at the surface or within cancer cells and act as carriers of drug delivery into these cells [2]. As the efficacy of cancer treatment depends on the drug's potential to reduce and eliminate tumors without damaging healthy tissue, nanoemulsion as a targeted drug carrier can be useful in this area [8]. The anticancer properties of medicinal plants to inhibit cancer progression and induce apoptosis in cancer cells have been extensively investigated in many studies [16]. One of the medicinal plants is Anethum graveolens L. (dill), which has anticancer potential, and its effects have been reported in the treatment of cancers, including liver and cervical cancers [13]. This study aims to assess the antioxidant effects of nanoemulsion synthesized by the essential oil of dill and evaluate its cytotoxicity on HepG2 cell line in vitro.
2. Materials and Methods
Stable nanoemulsion derived from the dill essential oil was prepared using ultrasonic waves at 200 W for 30 min. Liver cancer cell lines (HepG2) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were cultured in 96-well plates in sterile conditions and kept in the incubator at 37°C, 5% CO2, and 95% humidity. The plates with a cell count of about 5000 per well were used to evaluate the toxicity of the drugs. This evaluation was performed using the MTT assay [17]. To evaluate the antioxidant activities of nanoemulsions, we ran two tests of DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) and ABTS (2,2-azino-bis[3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid]) [18]. The viability of treated cells and the antioxidant activity of plant-derived nanoemulsion were analyzed in SPSS V. 22 by using one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the Least Significant Difference (LSD) methods.
3. Results
The plant-derived nanoemulsion had a toxic effect on both cell lines, and this effect was dose-dependent. In other words, with increasing concentrations of this substance, the survival of both cell lines decreased but its impact on HepG2 was more significant than on HUVEC. Evaluation of the antioxidant effect of nanoemulsion using DPPH and ABTS tests showed that it had antioxidant activity, and its antioxidant activity increased by increasing its concentration. DPPH test results reported that about 500 μg/mL of nanoemulsion derived from dill plant could remove 50% of free radicals (Figure 1). ABTS test results indicated that 420 μg/mL of nanoemulsion could eliminate 50% of released free radicals in the environment (Figure 2).

4. Discussion
The results of this study showed that by increasing the concentration of nanoemulsion synthesized from dill essential oil, the percentage of free radicals inhibition increased. In other words, the antioxidant property of this substance is dose-dependent. The results of MTT assay on HepG2 and normal HUVEC cell lines showed that this substance had toxic effects on both cancerous and healthy cells but had a more poisonous effect on HepG2 than on HUVEC. The toxic effects of prepared nanoemulsion on the cells were dose-dependent; as its dose increases, its toxic effects also increase, and cell viability decreases.
Recently, new nanotechnology-based treatment strategies have emerged as an alternative to chemotherapy. Among different types of nanoproducts, nanoemulsions have several advantages for the delivery of anticancer drugs, which can increase the intracellular concentration of the drugs and thereby reducing the cytotoxicity of chemotherapy [21]. Various studies have shown that dill has multiple compounds such as carvone, limonene, and phellandrene, and its antioxidant and cytotoxic properties can be attributed to them [22].
In our study, dill essential oil-based nanoemulsion had potent antioxidant activity. This property indicates the potential of this nanoemulsion to become a therapeutic strategy for future diseases caused by oxidative stress and cancer. It is recommended to evaluate effective toxicity on other cancer cell lines.
Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines

All experiments in this study were according to the ethical guidelines of the Ethics Committee of Islamic Azad University of Mashhad (ethical code: IR.IAU.MSHD.REC.1398.02.7).
This study was extracted from a research proposal approved by the Ethics Committee of Mashahd University of Medical Sciences (Code: IR.IAU.MSHD.REC.1398.027)
Authors' contributions
Conceptualization, visualization, supervision, project administration, and funding by Masoud Homayouni Tabrizi; methodology and validation by Masoud Homayouni Tabrizi and Touran Ardalan; Analysis and investigation by Haleh Sadat Tavakkol Afshari; and resources by all authors.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Type of Study: Original Atricle | Subject: Basic Sciences
Received: 2019/06/10 | Accepted: 2019/08/24

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