Effect of curcumin-nanoemulsion associated with photodynamic therapy in breast adenocarcinoma cell line
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Curcumin, a natural compound has several antineoplastic activities and is a promising natural photosensitizer used in photodynamic therapy. However, its low solubility in physiological medium limit the clinical use of curcumin. This study aimed to analyze the action of curcumin-nanoemulsion, a new and well-designed Drug Delivery System (DDS+) molecule, used as a photosensitizing agent in photodynamic therapy in an in vitro breast cancer model, MCF-7 cells. The empty nanoemulsion fulfils all necessary requirements to be an excellent DDS. Furthermore, the use of curcumin-nanoemulsion in photodynamic therapy resulted in a high phototoxic effect after activation at 440 nm, decreasing to <10% viable tumor cells after two irradiations and increasing the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. The use of curcumin-nanoemulsion associated with photodynamic therapy resulted in an increase in the levels of caspase 3/7 activity for the studied MCF-7 cell model, indicating that this therapy triggers a cascade of events that lead to cell death, such as cellular apoptosis. In conclusion, curcumin-nanoemulsion proved to be efficient as a photosensitizing agent, had phototoxic effects, significantly decreased the proliferation of MCF-7 cells and stimulating the ROS production in combination with photodynamic therapy, so, this formulation has a great potential for use in treatment of breast cancer.
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