- 1Department of Molecular Oncology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, MBC # 03, PO BOX 3354, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia.
While camel urine (CU) is widely used in the Arabian Peninsula to treat various diseases, including cancer, its exact mechanism of action is still not defined. The objective of the present study is to investigate whether camel urine has anti-cancer effect on human cells in vitro.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The annexinV/PI assay was used to assess apoptosis, and immunoblotting analysis determined the effect of CU on different apoptotic and oncogenic proteins. Furthermore, flow cytometry and Elispot were utilized to investigate cytotoxicity and the effect on the cell cycle as well as the production of cytokines, respectively.
Camel urine showed cytotoxicity against various, but not all, human cancer cell lines, with only marginal effect on non-tumorigenic epithelial and normal fibroblast cells epithelial and fibroblast cells. Interestingly, 216 mg/ml of lyophilized CU inhibited cell proliferation and triggered more than 80% of apoptosis in different cancer cells, including breast carcinomas and medulloblastomas. Apoptosis was induced in these cells through the intrinsic pathway via Bcl-2 decrease. Furthermore, CU down-regulated the cancer-promoting proteins survivin, β-catenin and cyclin D1 and increased the level of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21. In addition, we have shown that CU has no cytotoxic effect against peripheral blood mononuclear cells and has strong immuno-inducer activity through inducing IFN-γ and inhibiting the Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10.
CU has specific and efficient anti-cancer and potent immune-modulator properties in vitro.