Sci. Pharm. 2010; 78: 33–45
Antiproliferative Activity of Plant Extracts Used Against Cancer in Traditional Medicine
Wamidh H. TALIB, Adel M. MAHASNEH *
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Jordan, Amman-11942, Jordan.
Forty four extracts from sixteen plants used traditionally as anticancer agents were evaluated in vitro for their antiproliferative activity against Hep-2, MCF-7, and Vero cell lines. Plants were fractionated using ethanol, methanol, chloroform, n-hexane, distilled water, and butanol. The antiproliferative activity was measured by MTT assay. TLC was used to identify active fractions. The apoptotic activity of active fractions was determined using TUNEL colorimetric assay. 20 of these extracts demonstrated significant antiproliferative activity against one or more of the cell lines. These extracts were prepared from Ononis hirta, Inula viscosa, Salvia pinardi, Verbascum sinaiticum and Ononis sicula. Methanol fractions of Ononis hirta (aerial parts) and Inula viscosa (flowers) were the most active fractions against MCF-7 cells with IC50 of 27.96 and 15.78 μg/ml respectively and they were less toxic against other cell lines. Other extracts showed lower activity against cancer cell lines. TLC analysis showed the presence of flavonoids and terpenoids in active plants while alkaloids were detected in Ononis hirta (aerial parts) extracts. Ononis hirta (aerial parts) and Inula viscosa (flowers) extracts exerted their antiproliferative activity by inducing apoptosis in cancer cell lines. Further studies are necessary for detailed chemical characterization and more extensive biological evaluation of the most active ingredients.
Anti-cancer activity • Medicinal plants • MTT and TUNEL assays • Traditional use
Received December 10th, 2009 | Accepted February 12th, 2010 | Published Online February 14th, 2010