Researchers found that two plants used in Nigerian ethnomedicine have stronger cytotoxic activity than cyclophosphamide, a drug used in chemotherapy. The study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine initially looked at 31 plants before it singled out Macaranga barteri and Calliandra portoricensis for their anti-cancer effects.
The researchers used two assays to examine the cytotoxicity of the 31 plants in their study against the rhabdomyosarcoma (RD) cancer cell line: an MTT assay and a brine shrimp lethality assay (BSLA) using Artemia salina. They also used normal Vero cell line and the normal prostate cell line to determine selectivity index (SI).
They examined the phytochemical components of the extracts using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis.
The researchers wrote that of the plants they examined, Eleusine indica showed the highest toxicity in the BSLA compared to the chemo drug cyclophosphamide, which was used as a control.
Extracts from M. barteri and C. portoricensis showed significant cytotoxicity in both MTT and brine shrimp lethality assays. Furthermore, the dichloromethane fraction of M. barteri (DMB) and the ethyl acetate fraction of C. portoricensis (ECP) demonstrated higher cytotoxicity against the RD cell line by six and four times respectively, compared to the drug control. The extracts from the two plants also scored highly in terms of SI.
Analysis showed DMP's major components to be acteoside, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, kaempferol-7-O-glucoside, and bastadin 11, while ECP's were neurolenin B, nigrosporolide, and trans-geranic acid.
As per the researchers, the study confirmed the cytotoxic qualities of both M. barteri and C. portoricensis.
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Ogbole OO, Segun PA, Adeniji AJ. IN VITRO CYTOTOXIC ACTIVITY OF MEDICINAL PLANTS FROM NIGERIA ETHNOMEDICINE ON RHABDOMYOSARCOMA CANCER CELL LINE AND HPLC ANALYSIS OF ACTIVE EXTRACTS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-2005-8