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Revista Cubana de Farmacia

Print version ISSN 0034-7515On-line version ISSN 1561-2988


DIAZ GARCIA, Alexis; RODRIGUEZ SANCHEZ, Hermis  and  SCULL LIZAMA, Ramón. Cytotoxicity of medicinal plant extracts on the human lung carcinoma cell line A549. Rev Cubana Farm [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.1, pp.101-108. ISSN 0034-7515.

OBJECTIVES: to evaluate the effect of 10 Cuban medicinal plant extracts on the human lung tumor cell line A549. METHODS: the effect of the plant extracts on tumor cells was determined by a colorimetric assay using the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) at concentrations ranging from 3,9-250 µg/mL for 72 hours and the mean cytotoxic concentration was calculated for each of them. RESULTS: the ethanolic extracts of Parthenium hysterophorus, Bixa orellana, Momordica charantia and Cucurbita maxima showed mean cytotoxic concentrations under 100 µg/mL. Except for P. hysterophorus, the others are used in traditional medicine to fight cancer. The remaining extracts from Cecropia peltata, Melia azedarach, Annona glabra, Artemisia absintium, Lepidium virginicum and Bidens pilosa did not show significant cytotoxic effects. CONCLUSIONS: the plant extracts for cancer treatment in traditional medicine showed cytotoxic effect on the tumor cell lines. Ethnobotanical data represent an important tool for medicinal plants screening in the quest for new compounds to treat cancer.

Keywords : plant extracts; traditional medicine; citotoxicity; tumor cells.

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