ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE - Protective effect of Ocimum basilicum essential oil on Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced breast tumor in mice

Abdullateef K. Ayuba, Musa O. Salawu, Hussein O. Oloyede


Background: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide.7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) is one of the xenobiotics that are implicated in various toxicological conditions including carcinogenesis. This study was conducted to assess the protective effect of Ocimum basilicum essential oil on Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced breast tumor in mice.

Method: Sixty (60) adult female mice were randomized into five groups (A-E) each containing twelve (12) mice: Group A- Control received distilled water, Group B- DMBA induced only, Group C- DMBA induced+100mg/kg bodyweight (bwt) essential oil, Group D- DMBA induced+200mg/kg bwt essential oil and Group E- DMBA induced + Tamoxifen, respectively. The animals were treated with Ocimum basilicum essential oil for 14 days. At the end of 14 days, assays for serum catalase, superoxide dismutase, malondialdehyde, reduced glutathione and glutathione-s- transferase also IL-1β, TNF-α, NF-κB and fragmented DNA were done.

Result: Histopathology analysis of the skin of the mammary gland shows that DMBA-induced mice possessed enlarged skin tissue with epidermal necrosis and disruption of the entire layers of the skin, this suggesting tissue damage and cancer while positive control and group administered with Ocimum basilicum essential oil showed preserved epidermal, dermal and subcutaneous layers. There is increase in levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, NF-κB, fragmented DNA, SOD,CAT, GST activities and GSH level in the group administered with Ocimum basilicum essential oil when compared with the negative control.


Breast cancer, Ocimum basilicum, Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene, ROS

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