Effects of Oleo Gum Resin of Ferula assa-foetida L. on Senescence in Human Dermal Fibroblasts - Asafoetida reverses senescence in fibroblasts -

  • Received : 2017.07.30
  • Accepted : 2017.09.07
  • Published : 2017.09.30


Objectives: Based on data from Chinese and Indian traditional herbal medicines, gum resin of Ferula assa-foetida (sometimes referred to asafetida or asafoetida) has several therapeutic applications. The authors of various studies have claimed that asafetida has cytotoxic, antiulcer, anti-neoplasm, anti-cancer, and anti-oxidative effects. In present study, the anti-aging effect of asafetida on senescent human dermal fibroblasts was evaluated. Methods: Senescence was induced in in vitro cultured human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) through exposure to $H_2O_2$, and the incidence of senescence was recognized by using cytochemical staining for the activity of ${\beta}$-galactosidase. Then, treatment with oleo gum resin of asafetida was started to evaluate its rejuvenating effect. The survival rate of fibroblasts was evaluated by using methyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays. Real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blot assays were performed to evaluate the expressions of apoptotic and anti-apoptotic markers. Results: Our experiments show that asafetida in concentrations ranging from $5{\times}10^{-8}$ to $10^{-7}g/mL$ has revitalizing effects on senescent fibroblasts and significantly reduces the ${\beta}$-galactosidase activity in these cells (P < 0.05). Likewise, treatment at these concentrations increases the proliferation rate of normal fibroblasts (P < 0.05). However, at concentrations higher than $5{\times}10^{-7}g/mL$, asafetida is toxic for cells and induces cell death. Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that asafetida at low concentrations has a rejuvenating effect on senescent fibroblasts whereas at higher concentrations, it has the opposite effect of facilitating cellular apoptosis and death.


Supported by : Neurobiomedical Research Center (NRC)


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