Anti-breast cancer potential of Anonidium mannii (Oliv.) Engl. & Diels barks ethanolic extract: UPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS detection of anticancer alkaloids

Francine Azegha Mefegue, Thomas Michel, Eutrophe Le Doux Kamto, Larissa Vanelle Kenmogne, Charline Florence Awounfack, Xavier Siwe Noundou, Derek Tantoh Ndinteh, Dieudonné Njamen*, Stéphane Zingue*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Breast cancer is a serious threat in low-income as well as developed countries. To face this, many herbal preparations are prescribed by traditional healers in Cameroon, among which is Anonidium mannii commonly called “wild soursop”. Aim: This study was undertaken to assess the anti-tumor effect of A. mannii ethanolic extract on cancer cell growth and against DMBA-induced mammary tumors in rats. Materials and methods: The well characterized MTT bioassay was used to assess the cytotoxic potential of A. mannii ethanolic extract in liver (HepG2), prostate (DU145 & PC3) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell lines. Considering the fact that breast cells were the most sensitive to the extract, a 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced breast tumor rat model was used to assess the possible anticancer effect of A. mannii extract. Indeed, rats were treated with either tamoxifen (3.3 mg/kg BW) or A. mannii extract (16.5, 50 and 150 mg/kg BW) or vehicle (2% ethanol) for 20 weeks. Tumor incidence, tumor mass and volume, oxidative stress status in tumor as well as tumor histoarchitecture were evaluated. Results: A 24 h incubation of tested cells with the A. mannii extract significantly slowed cell growth in a concentration-dependent manner with an interesting effect in breast cells (IC50 ~61.5 μg/mL). As compared to the DMBA rats, those treated with A. mannii extract (50 and 150 mg/kg) showed reduced breast tumor incidence (28%), tumor burden (95.34% at 50 mg/kg and 99.14% at 150 mg/kg) and tumor volume (~92%). A. mannii extract counteracted the high proliferation of terminal mammary ducts induced by DMBA, mainly at 50 mg/kg. Furthermore, the extract decreased MDA and nitrite levels but increased SOD activity in the mammary gland. High Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-MS) analysis detected potential anticancer and antioxidant alkaloids in A. manni extract, which are close to those found in Annona muricata. Conclusion: These results provide evidence on the in vitro and in vivo anticancer effects of A. mannii, and therefore support its use in traditional medicine system to fight against cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114131
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anonidium mannii
  • Breast cancer
  • DMBA
  • Protective effects
  • Wild soursop


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