Therapeutic Effect of Luteolin Natural Extract Versus Its Nanoparticles on Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cell Line: In Vitro Study

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Oral squamous cell carcinoma still has no satisfactory treatment. Luteolin is a natural flavonoid, exhibiting anti-cancer activity. Nanomedicine has been implemented in cancer therapy, utilizing the benefits of nanoparticles. In this context, this study was conducted to examine whether luteolin and nano-luteolin exert an inhibitory effect on oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line; SCC-25 by inducing apoptosis, and to assess whether nano-luteolin is more efficient compared to luteolin and the gold-standard; 5-fluorouracil. nano-luteolin was prepared and has fulfilled the criteria of nanoparticles. The cytotoxicity of luteolin, nano-luteolin, and 5-fluorouracil were assessed at three-time intervals using the MTT assay. IC50 doses of each intervention were applied to SCC-25, then caspase-3 levels were assessed at three-time intervals, using Real-Time polymerase chain reaction. Our results demonstrated dose- and time-dependent reduction in the % viabilities and IC50 values when SCC-25 treated with luteolin, nano-luteolin, and 5-fluorouracil. Among all the groups, nano-luteolin expressed the highest levels of caspase-3 (nano-luteolin ˃ 5-fluorouracil ˃ luteolin) and its highest value was at 48 h. In conclusion, both luteolin and nano-luteolin exerted cytotoxic effect and have succeeded to induce apoptosis against SCC-25 cells, with superior effect offered by nano-luteolin compared to luteolin and even 5-fluorouracil.