Ethnopharmacological relevance: The scientific study of natural products traditionally used
in anticancer preparations has yielded several therapeutically relevant compounds. One of
these traditional preparations with potentially beneficial properties is aqueous extracts of
Sutherlandia frutescens, a shrub indigenous to the Western Cape region of South Africa.
Aims of the study: To evaluate in vitro efficacy of these preparations on the MCF-7 breast
adenocarcinoma and MCF-12A non-tumorigenic cell lines in terms of cell proliferation, cell
morphology and possible induction of cell death.
Materials and Methods: Crystal violet staining was used to evaluate cell proliferation, lightand
fluorescence microscopy were used to investigate both intracellular and extracellular
morphological features of apoptosis and autophagy (e.g. membrane blebbing, condensed
chromatin and intracellular lysosomes), while flow cytometry quantified cell cycle changes
and induction of apoptosis through analysis of the flip-flop translocation of