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The Effects of Allicin, a Reactive Sulfur Species from Garlic, on a Selection of Mammalian Cell Lines

Department of Plant Physiology, RWTH Aachen University, Worringer Weg 1, Aachen 52074, Germany
Laboratoire d’Immunologie biologique, Hôpital Cochin, Paris 75679, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Claus Jacob and Gregory Ian Giles
Antioxidants 2017, 6(1), 1;
Received: 6 September 2016 / Revised: 29 November 2016 / Accepted: 19 December 2016 / Published: 26 December 2016
PDF [2163 KB, uploaded 26 December 2016]


Garlic (Allium sativum L.) has been used as a spice and medicinal plant since ancient times. Garlic produces the thiol-reactive defence substance, allicin, upon wounding. The effects of allicin on human lung epithelium carcinoma (A549), mouse fibroblast (3T3), human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC), human colon carcinoma (HT29) and human breast cancer (MCF7) cell lines were tested. To estimate toxic effects of allicin, we used a standard MTT-test (methylthiazoltetrazolium) for cell viability and 3H-thymidine incorporation for cell proliferation. The glutathione pool was measured using monobromobimane and the formation of reactive species was identified using 2′,7′-dichlorofluoresceine-diacetate. The YO-PRO-1 iodide staining procedure was used to estimate apoptosis. Allicin reduced cell viability and cell proliferation in a concentration dependent manner. In the bimane test, it was observed that cells treated with allicin showed reduced fluorescence, suggesting glutathione oxidation. The cell lines tested differed in sensitivity to allicin in regard to viability, cell proliferation and glutathione oxidation. The 3T3 and MCF-7 cells showed a higher proportion of apoptosis compared to the other cell types. These data show that mammalian cell lines differ in their sensitivity and responses to allicin. View Full-Text
Keywords: garlic; Allium sativum; allicin; tumour cell lines; glutathione; redox garlic; Allium sativum; allicin; tumour cell lines; glutathione; redox

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Gruhlke, M.C.H.; Nicco, C.; Batteux, F.; Slusarenko, A.J. The Effects of Allicin, a Reactive Sulfur Species from Garlic, on a Selection of Mammalian Cell Lines. Antioxidants 2017, 6, 1.

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