Effect of Curcumin-Loaded Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles on the Head and Neck Cancer Cell Line, HN5

Simin Sharifi, Elaheh Dalir Abdolahinia, Mohammad Ali Ghavimi, Solmaz Maleki Dizaj, Michael Aschner, Luciano Saso, Haroon Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Curcumin is an active ingredient isolated from Curcuma longa. It has several pharmacological effects, including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. Due to its low bioavailability, chemical structure instability, and easy oxidation, the application of curcumin has been limited. In this study, to overcome these limitations, curcumin-loaded mesoporous silica nanoparticles (Cur-MSN) were prepared, and the anticancerous effect of Cur-MSNs on head and neck cancer cells, HN5, was investigated. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed rod-shaped mesoporous nanoparticles with average particle size smaller than 100 nm. Higher cytotoxicity of Cur-MSNs was seen in treated cancer cells compared with free curcumin. The expression of Bcl-2 was significantly reduced in the presence of Cur-MSNs compared to the control (untreated HN5 cells) (p < 0.05). A 3.43-fold increase in the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio was seen in Cur-MSNs treated HN5 cells at the IC50. Cur-MSNs increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Based on these novel results, we suggest that Cur-MSNs offer efficacy for cancer treatment and future studies should further characterize their properties in various experimental cancer models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5247-5259
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Issues in Molecular Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Bax/Bcl-2
  • anticancer
  • curcumin
  • mesoporous silica nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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